CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Agriculture

January 8, 2013

2012 hottest on record in continental U.S., NOAA says

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

In the United States, a combination of high temperatures and dry conditions last year took a serious toll on the nation's agricultural sector. NOAA's Karl noted that the Midwest had been relatively wet for several years, which had curbed the impact of warmer temperatures.

In 2012, he said, "both the day and the nighttime temperatures were breaking their all-time records," and that combined with drier conditions amounted to "a double whammy."

The warmest March on record meant vegetation levels were 25 percent higher than normal that month, but many of those crops dried up because 39 percent of the United States experienced severe or extreme drought in 2012.

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Agriculture