Global Temperatures 2003

Record-breaking Temperatures in 2003: The year 2003 was the third hottest in nearly 150 years, according to the World Meteorological Organization. The United Nations agency estimates that average world temperatures this past year were 0.81 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than usual. They blamed the larger trend of global warming, citing the increases as evidence of the accelerating pace of climate change. Drought, heat waves, and extreme winter weather marked the year. A sweltering summer killed thousands in Europe, and melting glaciers in the Alps left the famed Matterhorn unsafe for climbing. A summer heat wave in India and Pakistan pushed thermometers up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, killing almost 1,500 people. Drought left trees in the American West vulnerable to insects and wildfires, which burned 75,000 acres in October. More than 16 hurricanes hit the Atlantic seaboard this year, well over the usual 9.8 storms. The United States also logged its tenth lowest recorded snowfall ever. The warmest year on record occurred in 1998, when temperatures were 0.99 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.

Source: California Academy of Sciences, 2003

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