Rome

2012 Italy's fourth hottest in 50 years

Marked 21st consecutive year of above-average temperatures

2012 Italy's fourth hottest in 50 years

Rome, July 1 - Last year marked Italy's fourth hottest since 1961, Italy's Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) revealed on Monday. Temperatures in 2012 were also above the norm for the 21st year in a row, averaging 1.31C degrees higher than historic temperatures, according to the eighth edition of the ISPRA report "Climate Indicators in Italy". Moreover, from 1981 to 2012, average temperatures have increased 0.35C every decade. But the hottest years of the last half century were 1994, 2000 and 2003, with temperatures averaging 1.35C to 1.38C degrees above the country's climatic average, the report found. In 2012, overall precipitation was 10% below the Italian climatic average despite record cold and snow in February. Every month in 2012 was hotter than average with the exception of February and December. In March 2012, northern Italian temperatures were up by 4.12C. Central Italian temperatures in August rose 3.22C. In June, temperatures in southern Italy and the Italian islands were up 2.69C. The number of 'summer' days, defined as having temperatures above 25C, was higher than average for the thirteenth year in a row. The report was based on climatic indicators gathered by a national system of roughly 700 measurement stations throughout the country.

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