It is becoming increasingly commonplace for record temperatures to occur globally. The increasing influence of global warming is a major contributing factor, with greenhouse gases increasing in the atmosphere daily. Despite this, recent temperature data released in the United States has many surprised at the results of the past twelve months.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), March was the warmest ever on record. Records going back to 1895 indicate that March 2012 is the warmest on record and the months of January through March were also record-breaking. More than 15,000 records were broken across the U.S. in the month of March, leading many to believe the months to follow would be formidable as well.
The month of April has been found to be the third warmest on record, at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This is 3.6 degrees above the 20th century average. Subsequently the NOAA has recently released their findings indicating that the last twelve months, May 2011 through April 2012 are the warmest on record. The average was 55.7 degrees Fahrenheit, 2.8 degrees warmer than average. April 2011 through March 2012 was also a record, with many expecting June 2011 through May 2012 will be a record due to a cooler May 2011.
The greatest concern at this time is the potential for severe droughts across the country. Alongside the increasing warmth is also a decrease in precipitation in many areas. In addition, regions prone to wildfire are likely to experience a more turbulent fire season.