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5 Charts Help Illustrate 2012 As Warmest Year on Record

(Climate Central)

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2012 was far and away the warmest year on record in the lower 48 states, beating 1998 by a full degree Fahrenheit.

These charts put that warmth into historical perspective for the country as a whole, and for a few select cities.

The 1°F margin between 2012 and 1998 may not seem like much at first, but usually such temperature records are set by just a few fractions of a degree. As seen in this NOAA chart, 2012 towers above the pack of warm years.