WASHINGTON - New weather data shows that the world's average temperature in 2012 barely slipped into the top 10 hottest years on record, despite the U.S. smashing heat marks.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says last year's world average temperature was 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14.5 degrees Celsius). That's a full degree above the 20th century average of 57 F (13.9 C).
That ranks 2012 as the 10th hottest year in NOAA records that go back to 1880. The hottest was 2010.
A La Nina and mild weather in Alaska, Canada and parts of Asia moderated the globe's average temperature. The U.S. recorded its hottest year ever last year.
NASA, which measures temperatures differently, ranks 2012 as ninth warmest. Both agencies announced the data Tuesday.
SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer
The Associated Press