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Earth sizzles to 2nd-warmest winter since records began nearly 140 years ago

March 17, 2017View for printing

The planet sizzled to its second-warmest winter on record, failing to oust the 2015-2016 season from the top spot, federal scientists announced Friday.

The global temperature for the months of December, January and February soared to 1.6 degrees above average this winter, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data. That's a huge amount in climate science, where records are often broken by hundredths or tenths of degrees.

Still, this winter was nowhere close to the past season's record, when the planet sweltered to a tremendous 2 degrees above average.

Doyle Rice , USA TODAY

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