WASHINGTON, Aug. 6, 2013 - A report from the American Meteorological Society (AMS) shows 2012 was one of the 10 warmest years on record across the globe. 

Experts point to the unprecedented Arctic warmth and continued warm surface temperatures as the major driving factors in the climate change witnessed in 2012. The report detailed a number of climate details ranging from humidity to extreme events to determine the long-term change that is occurring in the world climate. Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., Acting Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the report reflects what was previously thought about climate change. 

“Many of the events that made 2012 such an interesting year are part of the long-term trends we see in a changing and varying climate-carbon levels are climbing, sea levels are rising, Arctic sea ice is melting, and our planet as a whole is becoming a warmer place," Sullivan said.

Conditions in the Arctic were a major story of 2012, with the region experiencing unprecedented change and breaking several records. Sea ice shrank to its smallest "summer minimum" extent since satellite records began 34 years ago. In addition, more than 97 percent of the Greenland ice sheet showed some form of melt during the summer, four times greater than the 1981-2010 average melt extent. 

The rising temperatures led to a consensus that 2012 was one of the top 10 warmest years on record, but four major datasets disagree on whether the year ranks 8th or 9th.


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