I was reading through the most recent monthly climate update from the National Climatic Data Center and found that they are using a new percentile maps.
From the NCDC.....
The August 2012 Global State of the Climate report introduces percentile maps that complement the information provided by the anomaly maps. These new maps provide additional information by placing the temperature anomaly observed for a specific place and time period into historical perspective, showing how the most current month, season or year compares with the past.
Here is the latest global land/ocean percentiles for the period January-August 2012, courtesy of the NCDC.
Also from the NCDC......
With the transition of La Niña early in the year to ENSO-neutral conditions, the average 2012 year-to-date global temperature for land and oceans combined has increased each month since February. For the year-to-date (January–August), the temperature was 0.56°C (1.01°F) above the 20th century average, marking the ninth warmest such period on record.
The chart below compares this year with the 5 warmest years in the NCDC record going back to 1880.
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