Here are some excerpts from a couple recent news releases from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. It appears that Earth's warming trend is continuing. Click here to view the articles in their entirety.
U.S. Temperature Highlights – December 2008
-The average December 2008 temperature of 32.5 degrees F was 0.9 degree below the 20th Century average
U.S. Temperature Highlights – 2008
-The Central and Southern regions experienced below-average temperatures, while above-average temperatures were felt in the West, Southwest and Northeast. This resulted in a near average annual temperature for the contiguous U.S. and the coolest annual temperature since 1997.
-For 2008, the average temperature of 53.0 degrees F was 0.2 degree above the 20th Century average.
The nation’s January-December average temperature has increased at a rate of 0.12 degree F per decade since 1895, and at a faster rate of 0.41 degree F per decade during the last 50 years.
U.S. Precipitation Highlights - 2008
-The average precipitation for the U.S. in 2008 was 30.48 inches, which is 1.34 inches above average.
2008 was the wettest year on record for New Hampshire and Missouri, second wettest for Massachusetts, and third wettest for Connecticut, Illinois, and Iowa. Also, 2008 was the fourth wettest year for Indiana, fifth wettest for Maine, Michigan, and Vermont, seventh wettest for New York, and eighth wettest for Kansas and Rhode Island.
Global Temperature Highlights – 2008
-The combined global land and ocean surface temperature from January-December was 0.88 degree F (0.49 degree C) above the 20th Century average of 57.0 degrees F (13.9 degrees C). Since 1880, the annual combined global land and ocean surface temperature has increased at a rate of 0.09 degree F (0.05 degree C) per decade. This rate has increased to 0.29 degree F (0.16 degree C) per decade over the past 30 years.
-Separately, the global land surface temperature for 2008, through December, was sixth warmest, with an average temperature 1.46 degrees F (0.81 degree C) above the 20th Century average of 47.3 degrees F (8.5 degrees C).
Also separately, the global ocean surface temperature for 2008, through December, was 0.67 degree F (0.37 degree C) above the 20th Century average of 60.9 degrees F (16.1 degrees C) and ranked tenth warmest.