MAR 19, 2015 08:13 AM PDT

Winter sets global heat record despite US East's big chill

Federal records show that this winter and the first two months of 2015 were the hottest on record globally, with a chilly U.S. East sticking out like a cold thumb in a toastier world.
Lake Rajupaquinan at Huascaran natural reserve in Ancash. Peru has more tropical glaciers than any other nation but rising temperatures linked to global warming have helped shrink the ice masses by up to 40 percent.
At nearly 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit above 20th century average, last month was the second warmest February on record globally, slightly behind 1998.

But the combined January and February temperature beat the old record for the first two months set in 2002. December through February broke the meteorological winter record set in 2007.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration records go back to 1880.

Parts of Russia, Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, South America and especially the U.S. West were extra warm. As a whole, the U.S. had a bit-cooler-than-normal February, but slightly warmer-than-normal winter.

Source: AP by Seth Borenstein
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