Here are data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations’s National CLimatic Data Center. In the 118 years since weather records were systematically kept, the average temperature in the 48 contiguous states has never been as high as in 2012! ALthough these findings were made available on Dec 10, it’s nearly statistically impossible for the temperature record to not peak this year, thus the early release. Note the large difference between 2012 and any year in the 21st century. Striking! The U.S. pattern is consistent with global climate change but of course the U.S. is spatially only a small fraction of the earth’s surface area (about 4%) so the U.S. temperature curve would not be expected to match that for the world on a year-to-year or even decade-to-to-decade basis. Thanks to http://www.thinkprogress.org/climate.