PRINCETON, N.J. —
This year is a rare exception to that trend, but it does not indicate a slowdown or reversal of U.S. or global long-term warming trends, since short-term climate variability ensures that there will still be cold snaps and heat waves even in a warming world.
According to statistics from the National Climatic Data Center, the U.S. had 9,035 daily record high temperatures through Dec. 3, compared to 9,951 daily record lows. Last year at this time, that ratio stood at about 5-to-1 in favor of record daily highs, with 32,881 record daily highs through Dec. 3, 2012, compared to just 6,238 record daily lows during that same period. Last year was the warmest on record in the U.S.
Globally, 2013 is expected to be the 7th-warmest year on record, which follows the warmest decade since records began in 1850.