Climate Central

The month of November continued an unbroken streak of warmer-than-average temperatures that dates all the way back to 1985 — the year the hit film "Back to the Future" first hit theaters — with global average surface temperatures ranking as the fifth-warmest such month on record, according to figures released Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

November was the 333rd month in a row with a global average surface temperature that was above the 20th century average, a clear sign of the warming trend that scientific evidence shows is due at in large part to manmade emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide.

To put it another way, if you are under the age of 27, you have never experienced a month in which global average surface temperatures came in below the 20th century average, as the environmental news web site Grist said in October.

For the year-to-date, NOAA reported that 2012 is on track to be the eighth warmest year on record, due largely to near-record warmth over land areas from April to September, and above-average sea surface temperatures. The September-to-November period was especially mild, coming in just behind 2005 for the second-warmest such period on record.

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