First decade of 21st century was the warmest on record

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From the Associated Press (Randolph E. Schmid) via The Denver Post:

In 2009, global surface temperatures were 1.01 degree above average, which tied the year for the fifth warmest year on record, the National Climatic Data Center said. And that helped push the 2000-2009 decade to 0.96 degree above normal, which the agency said “shattered” the 1990s record value of 0.65 degree above normal. The warmest year on record was 2005 at 1.11 degrees above normal…

In the United States last year the average temperature was 0.3 degrees above normal. And on average it was moist, with average annual precipitation in 2009 for the 48 contiguous states some 2.33 inches above the long-term average at 31.47 inches. It was the 18th wettest in 115 years of record keeping. However, dry conditions occurred during much of the year across parts of the Southwest, Upper Mississippi Valley and southern Texas, the agency said. And there was periodic low rain and snowfall in parts of a ring around the country from the northern Rockies, Far West and Southwest to the southern Plains and Southeast, then up along the East Coast and back across the Great Lakes.

More climate change coverage here and here.

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