This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
At Mid-Point, 2004 Ranks as Third-Hottest Year on Record
After a string of record-breaking global temperatures in recent years, 2004 is so far shaping up to be hot, but not record-breaking, according to preliminary data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The average global temperature for January to June is 0.97 degrees Fahrenheit above the long-term average, currently placing 2004 in third place compared to the January to June averages for other years (the first half of 1998 and 2002 were hotter). If the average global temperature holds steady through the end of the year, 2004 will be the fourth-warmest year on record. See the summary and graph of global climate trends from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.
As reported in the EERE Network News in January, the years 2002 and 2003 tied as the second-warmest on record, at 1.01 degrees Fahrenheit above the long-term average. The hottest year on record was 1998, at 1.13 degrees Fahrenheit above the long-term average. See the article from the January 21st edition of the EERE Network News.