2014 was California’s hottest year, and it wasn’t even close

California not only sweated through its hottest year on record in 2014 but obliterated the previous mark by nearly 2 degrees, federal scientists said Thursday, while experiencing firsthand some of the worst fears of a warming planet — from intensified drought to melting snowpack.

The state’s average temperature last year was 61.5 degrees, more than 4 degrees above the 20th century average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported. The previous hottest year was 1934, at 59.7 degrees, though many of the balmiest periods have come more recently, with seven of the 10 hottest years within the past two decades.

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