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There is both good and bad news when it comes to global warming, according to a new climate study published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The good news is that 2012 was only the 10th warmest year on record. Okay, maybe that isn’t particularly good news, but the bad news is even worse: In 2012 sea levels continued to rise, Arctic ice melted faster than ever and greenhouse gases reached record highs.
Although 2012 wasn’t as hot as other recent years — 10 of the hottest years ever have all taken place within the past 15 years — the report shows that the impact of global warming continued apace. In fact, sea ice reached a record low in 2012. The Greenland ice sheet showed melting that was four times greater than normal. In Alaska, the permafrost temperature reached a record high.
The sea itself isn’t immune to the changes, either. Sea surface temperature was among the 11th highest ever and La Nina was neutralized by the increasing temperatures. Globally, sea levels have been creeping consistently upward over the past 20 years and in 2012 the sea reached the highest level on record. High evaporation also meant that some areas of the ocean were getting saltier. And for the first time ever, carbon emissions exceeded 400 ppm in some areas.
The study, released by NOAA, is a peer-reviewed report on the state of the planet and involved 384 scientists in 52 countries. Called the 2012 State of the Climate report, it is part of an annual study released to help government and scientists understand the changes the world faces as the globe warms.
via the Oregonian