By Andrea Thompson
9 January 2017
(Climate Central) – 2016 was the second hottest year for the U.S. in more than 120 years of record keeping, government scientists announced on Monday, marking 20 above-average years in a row. Every state had a temperature ranking at least in the top seven, with two, Georgia and Alaska, recording their hottest year.
The announcement comes a week before the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which released the U.S. data, and NASA are expected to announce that 2016 set the record for the hottest year globally. Both the global record and the U.S. near-record are largely attributable to greenhouse gas-driven warming of the planet.
Both records also come amid a shift in the tenor of the discussion on U.S. climate policy after the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. Trump, who has previously called climate change a “hoax,” has chosen several cabinet nominees who reject the established science of climate change to cabinet positions; Senate confirmation hearings begin this week.
In addition to the pervasive warmth over the last year, the U.S. also had to deal with 15 weather and climate disasters that each caused more than $1 billion in damage. Together, they totalled more than $46 billion in losses and included several disastrous rain-driven flooding events. [more]