Last year was the warmest on record for the United States, with readings pushed over higher than normal by the unusual and unseasonably warm weather during the last half of December.
Preliminary data from the National Climatic Data Center listed the average temperature for the 48 contiguous US states last year as 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.8 Celsius). That is 2.2 degrees (1.2 Celsius) ) warmer than average and 0.07 (0.04 Celsius) degrees warmer than 1998, the previous warmest year on record.
Worldwide, the agency said, it was the sixth warmest year on record.
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