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Heat wave continues 28 straight years of warmer average temperatures

June 30, 2013

Global temperatures have not dipped below long-term averages since 1985. The U.S. broke several temperature records in 2012.


A record-setting heat wave has hit the Southwest, and it's not exactly fun in the sun - heat exhaustion, fires, travel delays and deaths have come along with it. It's the latest episode in a trend of days getting hotter and hotter - a trend that has lasted for over 28 years.

Global temperatures have not dipped below average since 1985. That’s more than 337 months in a row. No one younger than 28 has ever seen a month in which global temperatures were below average.

Looking just at the U.S. climate, January-October 2012 were the warmest first 10 months of any year in U.S. history, with temperatures 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 55 degrees.

See our photo gallery for more on temperature trends. See “What Do Others Say?” for other perspectives on climate change, then add to the discussion below. Are you concerned about rising temperatures? Have you been affected by a heat wave?