World not quite as hot in 2011; ranks 11th warmest

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The world last year wasn’t quite as warm as it was for most of the last decade.

Still, official U.S. weather records say the average global temperature in 2011 was the 11th hottest on record.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calculated the average temperature as 57.9 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s 0.9 degrees warmer than the 20th century average. In fact, it was hotter than every year in the 20th century except 1998.

Last year was the second-coolest year of the young 21st century. One reason 2011 was milder than recent years was the La Nina cooling of the central Pacific Ocean.

This marks the 35th straight year that global temperatures were warmer than normal. Records go back to 1880.

Two years ago, 2010, tied for the hottest on record.