Global Analysis - Annual 2012
2012 Global Top 10 Weather/Climate Events

« Global Analysis - Annual 2012

2012 Global Top 10 Weather/Climate Events

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Rank Event When Occurred Event Description More Information
1 Arctic Sea Ice Extent Late Spring Through Fall 2012 June to October: monthly average sea ice extent was either record or second smallest for its respective month. Arctic sea ice reached a new record low minimum extent on September 16, at 1.32 million square miles. The total seasonal melt amount of 4.57 million square miles was the largest annual sea ice loss on record, equivalent in size to the entire United States and Mexico combined. September Global Snow & Ice Report
2 Agricultural Drought Summer 2012 Major drought gripped important agricultural regions across the globe during the summer of 2012. These regions included eastern Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and central North America. Wheat, corn, and soybean crops were among those heavily impacted; global food prices rose by 10 percent during July. The U.S. drought resulted in a multi-billion-dollar agricultural disaster-the most severe and extensive impact since 1988. USDA Farm & Food Impacts Report
3 Hurricane Sandy October 2012 Sandy, the second most powerful North Atlantic hurricane (exceeding 140 terajoules) since 1851, resulted in at least 185 deaths across the Caribbean, Unites States, and Canada, bringing record storm surge and low pressure in some locations. Damages from this storm are expected to be in the tens of billions and one of the costliest storms in U.S. history. Sandy Special Report
4 Super Typhoon Bopha/Pablo December 2012 Tropical cyclones rarely hit the southern Philippines; however, a Category 5 super typhoon struck southern Mindanao Island in early December, killing more than 900 residents and leaving more than 600 missing. This is the same region where Tropical Storm Washi hit in December 2011, killing more than 1300 people. November Global Hazards Report
5 Northern Hemisphere Warmth Throughout 2012 Land areas in the Northern Hemisphere reached record warm monthly values for four consecutive months (April - July). Much of the anomalous warmth occurred in North America: Canada was 3rd warmest on record for the period January-September; United States: record warm for the year. Many European countries and Russia had record to near-record warm summer temperatures. Annual Global Report
6 Greenland Ice Sheet & Glacier Calving July 2012 The percentage of the ice sheet experiencing melt increased from 40% to 97% from July 8 to 12, the greatest melt since 1889, according to ice core records. An iceberg twice the size of Manhattan calved from the Petermann Glacier on July 16; the second break since 2010. The glacier's margins have now retreated to the farthest point in the last 150 years. July Global Hazards Report
7 Eurasian Continent Cold Wave January/February 2012 Worst cold snap in at least 26 years in central and eastern Europe. Northeast China through eastern Inner Mongolia recorded minimum temperatures ranging between -30°C to -40°C. More than 650 people died as a direct result of frigid weather across a dozen countries. Parts of the Danube River froze over for the first time in 25 years. February Global Hazards Report
8 Northeastern Brazil - Drought First Half of 2012 Lack of rain during the first half of 2012 lead to the worst drought in five decades and resulted in "water wars", which provoked extreme behavior and led to fatalities. An estimated 4 million people were affected. Water supplies were threatened in 1100 municipalities. May Global Hazards Report
9 African Floods July - October 2012 Over 3 million people were affected across 15 countries, most notably Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, and Chad. More than 360 people were killed across Nigeria alone and more than 2 million were displaced. The floods destroyed farmlands, homes, and schools, and caused outbreaks of cholera and other diseases. September Global Hazards Report
10 Antarctic Sea Ice Extent September 2012 Antarctic sea ice reached an all-time record maximum extent with an average extent of 7.49 million square miles, slightly larger than the previous record large September extent in 2006. By September 26, the Antarctic sea ice had expanded to a new record maximum extent of 7.51 million square miles. September Global Snow & Ice Report