Depending on what source of data you use, 2012 will go down as either the 9th or 10th warmest on record globally, according to NASA and NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).
According to NASA, the average temperature globally for 2012 was 58.3 degrees F. (14.6 C.) which is 1.0 F. (0.6 C.) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline, putting 2012 as the 9th warmest on record.
Global temperature anomaly changes from 1880-2012. Video courtesy of NASA and YouTube.
According to the NCDC, the average temperature globally for 2012 was 58.03 F. (14.5 C.), which is 1.03 F. (0.57 C) above the 20th century average, putting 2012 as the 10th warmest on record.
The two warmest years on record globally are 2010 followed by 2005. Official records go back to 1880.
2012 was also the warmest "La Nina" year on record. Image below courtesy of the NCDC.
Key excerpt from the NASA GISS release.......
"One more year of numbers isn't in itself significant," GISS climatologist Gavin Schmidt said. "What matters is this decade is warmer than the last decade, and that decade was warmer than the decade before. The planet is warming. The reason it's warming is because we are pumping increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."
The string of record high monthly temperatures continues and then some.
Highest, global monthly temperature anomaly on record was set last month.
Want to learn more about global ice? Be sure to check out NASA's Global Ice Viewer.
New research shows that recent global climate trends have caused widespread increases in both plant growth and evaporation over the past 32 years, especially during periodic drought cycles that are linked to strong El Nino events.
Global surface temperature records keep falling.
September 2015 ended up as the second warmest September on record globally for land/ocean surface combined, according to NASA GISS.