The Age, January 16, 2013
The world had its 10th-warmest year since 1880 in 2012 and global temperatures exceeded the 20th- century average for the 36th time since 1976, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The world's combined land and ocean temperature was 1.03 degrees Fahrenheit (0.57 Celsius) above the 20th-century average of 57 degrees, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina.
"Including 2012, all 12 years to date in the 21st century rank among the 14 warmest in the 133-year period of record," a NOAA statement said. "Only one year in the 20th century -- 1998 -- was warmer than 2012."
Last week, NOAA announced 2012 was the warmest year in the US in records begun in 1895. The nation's warming trend is seen as a reflection of both natural variation and the impact of climate change, according to the climatic center.
A cold snap in December lowered the annual average temperature and moved 2012 from the eighth-warmest to the 10th- warmest, the center said.
The year posted record low sea ice in the Arctic while having record high amounts in the Antarctic.
Arctic sea ice dropped to 1.32 million square miles on September 16, the least seen in the satellite era, which began in 1979. Ten days later at the South Pole, Antarctic sea ice peaked at 7.51 million square miles, which was the most ever recorded.