Continental US was hotter since 1895 - report

Washington - The contiguous 48 US states recorded the hottest year since scientists began collecting temperatures in 1895, according to a government report on Tuesday.

In its annual report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the annual average temperature in 2012 was 12.94 degrees Celsius.

By making environmental protection a moral imperative, Francis' intervention could spur the world's 1.2 billion Catholics to lobby policymakers on ecology issues. Credit: REUTERS

That figure compared to the average temperature of 11.11 degrees Celsius observed in the previous 117 years. It was also more than half a degree hotter than the 12.38 degrees Celsius recorded in the previous record warm year of 1998.

Jake Crouch, a NOAA scientists, told reporters he found the speed with which temperatures rose “surprising.”

“The temperatures are increasing and will keep increasing in the next years,” he told reporters in a telephone briefing. - Sapa-dpa