2015 Wasn't The Hottest Year On Record In The U. S. — But That's Not Good News

Photo: Spencer Platt/ Getty Images.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Thursday that 2015 was the second-hottest year on record in the United States. That might seem exciting — it wasn't the hottest year, right? — but the findings still clearly show the effects of climate change in America.

2015 marked the 19th consecutive year that the United States' annual average temperature exceeded the 20th century average temperature. Last year, the annual average temperature in the contiguous United States was 54.4 degrees Fahrenheit, 2.4 degrees higher than the 20th century average.

The NOAA scientists noted that last year, 10 "extreme weather and climate events" caused more than $1 billion in damages each and resulted in 155 deaths, Politico reports.

The warmest year on record (since government scientists began tracking the temperatures in the 19th century) was 2012, when the United States saw an annual average temperature of 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unfortunately, the NOAA scientists believe that 2015's average global temperatures will set a new record, even though the U.S. temperatures didn't. The NOAA and NASA will reveal global temperature data for 2015 on January 20, and the scientists have hinted that last year is likely to pass 2014 as the warmest year on record globally. In addition, 29 states saw their warmest December on record in 2015.

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