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Pictures | Thu Jan 10, 2013 | 9:55pm EST

The hottest year ever

<p>Children play at a fountain in New York, June 20, 2012. Last year really was the hottest on record in U.S. history, according to the NOAA, beating the previous record by a full degree in temperature. 

REUTERS/Eric Thayer </p>

Children play at a fountain in New York, June 20, 2012. Last year really was the hottest on record in U.S. history, according to the NOAA, beating the previous record by a full degree in temperature. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Children play at a fountain in New York, June 20, 2012. Last year really was the hottest on record in U.S. history, according to the NOAA, beating the previous record by a full degree in temperature. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

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<p>People lie on the beach at Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York, June 30, 2012.  REUTERS/Eric Thayer </p>

People lie on the beach at Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York, June 30, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

People lie on the beach at Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York, June 30, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

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<p>A point where Colorado's High Park Fire stopped burning is seen at the intersection of two roads, west of Fort Collins June 14, 2012. The fire blackened nearly 47,000 acres. 

REUTERS/Rick Wilking </p>

A point where Colorado's High Park Fire stopped burning is seen at the intersection of two roads, west of Fort Collins June 14, 2012. The fire blackened nearly 47,000 acres. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

A point where Colorado's High Park Fire stopped burning is seen at the intersection of two roads, west of Fort Collins June 14, 2012. The fire blackened nearly 47,000 acres. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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<p>Crew members from the Nevada Department of Forestry work to control the Washoe Drive fire near a home in Washoe City, Nevada, January 19, 2012. 

 REUTERS/James Glover II </p>

Crew members from the Nevada Department of Forestry work to control the Washoe Drive fire near a home in Washoe City, Nevada, January 19, 2012. REUTERS/James Glover II

Crew members from the Nevada Department of Forestry work to control the Washoe Drive fire near a home in Washoe City, Nevada, January 19, 2012. REUTERS/James Glover II

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<p>An aerial view shows homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, Colorado, June 27, 2012.

REUTERS/John Wark</p>

An aerial view shows homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, Colorado, June 27, 2012. REUTERS/John Wark

An aerial view shows homes destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, Colorado, June 27, 2012. REUTERS/John Wark

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<p>A boy sprays water from a fire hydrant in New York, June 21, 2012. 

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton </p>

A boy sprays water from a fire hydrant in New York, June 21, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A boy sprays water from a fire hydrant in New York, June 21, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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<p>A man lies in the fountain at Washington Square Park in New York, July 1, 2012. 

REUTERS/Eric Thayer </p>

A man lies in the fountain at Washington Square Park in New York, July 1, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

A man lies in the fountain at Washington Square Park in New York, July 1, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

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<p>A home along Highway 395 stands in the path of the Washoe Drive fire in Washoe City, Nevada, January 19, 2012. 

REUTERS/James Glover II </p>

A home along Highway 395 stands in the path of the Washoe Drive fire in Washoe City, Nevada, January 19, 2012. REUTERS/James Glover II

A home along Highway 395 stands in the path of the Washoe Drive fire in Washoe City, Nevada, January 19, 2012. REUTERS/James Glover II

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<p>A boat dock now rests in mud at Morse Reservoir as water levels drop due to drought near Cicero, Indiana, July 19, 2012. 

 REUTERS/Chris Bergin </p>

A boat dock now rests in mud at Morse Reservoir as water levels drop due to drought near Cicero, Indiana, July 19, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Bergin

A boat dock now rests in mud at Morse Reservoir as water levels drop due to drought near Cicero, Indiana, July 19, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Bergin

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<p>People wait to get sprayed by water from a fire hydrant in New York, June 21, 2012. 

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton </p>

People wait to get sprayed by water from a fire hydrant in New York, June 21, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

People wait to get sprayed by water from a fire hydrant in New York, June 21, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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<p>People crowd at the beach at Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York, June 30, 2012. 

REUTERS/Eric Thayer </p>

People crowd at the beach at Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York, June 30, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

People crowd at the beach at Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York, June 30, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

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<p>A fishing sign in at one of the dry pools at the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Hudson, Kansas, August 7, 2012. 

REUTERS/Jeff Tuttle </p>

A fishing sign in at one of the dry pools at the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Hudson, Kansas, August 7, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff Tuttle

A fishing sign in at one of the dry pools at the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Hudson, Kansas, August 7, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff Tuttle

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<p>A firefighter watches a burnout operation on the north flank of the Fontenelle Fire outside Big Piney, Wyoming, July 4, 2012. 

REUTERS/Jim Urquhart </p>

A firefighter watches a burnout operation on the north flank of the Fontenelle Fire outside Big Piney, Wyoming, July 4, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

A firefighter watches a burnout operation on the north flank of the Fontenelle Fire outside Big Piney, Wyoming, July 4, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

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<p>A firefighting tanker plane drops fire retardant on homes threatened by the Taylor Creek Fire outside Cle Elum, Washington, August 15, 2012. 

REUTERS/Robert Sorbo </p>

A firefighting tanker plane drops fire retardant on homes threatened by the Taylor Creek Fire outside Cle Elum, Washington, August 15, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Sorbo

A firefighting tanker plane drops fire retardant on homes threatened by the Taylor Creek Fire outside Cle Elum, Washington, August 15, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Sorbo

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<p>A girl runs through a spray of water leaking from a hose outside the Lincoln Memorial on the Washington Mall, July 5, 2012. 

REUTERS/Jason Reed </p>

A girl runs through a spray of water leaking from a hose outside the Lincoln Memorial on the Washington Mall, July 5, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

A girl runs through a spray of water leaking from a hose outside the Lincoln Memorial on the Washington Mall, July 5, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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<p>Resident Toni Ann Gaggi uses an electric fan to escape the heat before performing yoga with others in at Times Square in New York, June 20, 2012. 
REUTERS/Adrees Latif </p>

Resident Toni Ann Gaggi uses an electric fan to escape the heat before performing yoga with others in at Times Square in New York, June 20, 2012. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Resident Toni Ann Gaggi uses an electric fan to escape the heat before performing yoga with others in at Times Square in New York, June 20, 2012. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

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<p>A tea cup sits in the drive way of a burned home in the Mountain Shadows subdivision after the community was ravaged by the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, Colorado, July 2, 2012. 

REUTERS/Adrees Latif </p>

A tea cup sits in the drive way of a burned home in the Mountain Shadows subdivision after the community was ravaged by the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, Colorado, July 2, 2012. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

A tea cup sits in the drive way of a burned home in the Mountain Shadows subdivision after the community was ravaged by the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, Colorado, July 2, 2012. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

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<p>Firefighter Tim Nolen pulls a fire hose to put out a spot fire, while battling the Chips fire near Greenville, California, August 20, 2012. 

REUTERS/Max Whittaker </p>

Firefighter Tim Nolen pulls a fire hose to put out a spot fire, while battling the Chips fire near Greenville, California, August 20, 2012. REUTERS/Max Whittaker

Firefighter Tim Nolen pulls a fire hose to put out a spot fire, while battling the Chips fire near Greenville, California, August 20, 2012. REUTERS/Max Whittaker

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<p>Aziz Taylor, 11 years old, of Washington DC, plays in a water fountain to beat the heat gripping the nation's capital while in the Capital Heights neighborhood of Washington, July 2, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing </p>

Aziz Taylor, 11 years old, of Washington DC, plays in a water fountain to beat the heat gripping the nation's capital while in the Capital Heights neighborhood of Washington, July 2, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Aziz Taylor, 11 years old, of Washington DC, plays in a water fountain to beat the heat gripping the nation's capital while in the Capital Heights neighborhood of Washington, July 2, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

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<p>The Coulter family gets ready to leave their home after receiving an evacuation notice due to a brush fire near Saratoga Springs, Utah, June 22, 2012. 

REUTERS/Jeff McGrath </p>

The Coulter family gets ready to leave their home after receiving an evacuation notice due to a brush fire near Saratoga Springs, Utah, June 22, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff McGrath

The Coulter family gets ready to leave their home after receiving an evacuation notice due to a brush fire near Saratoga Springs, Utah, June 22, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff McGrath

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<p>A barrel of hay sits in front of a soybean crop near Paris, Missouri, July 13, 2012. 

 REUTERS/Adrees Latif </p>

A barrel of hay sits in front of a soybean crop near Paris, Missouri, July 13, 2012. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

A barrel of hay sits in front of a soybean crop near Paris, Missouri, July 13, 2012. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

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<p>People play in the water at the beach at Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York, June 30, 2012. 

REUTERS/Eric Thayer </p>

People play in the water at the beach at Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York, June 30, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

People play in the water at the beach at Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York, June 30, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

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<p>Dead corn plants are seen on a drought-stricken field in Oakland City, Indiana, July 24, 2012.

REUTERS/ John Sommers II </p>

Dead corn plants are seen on a drought-stricken field in Oakland City, Indiana, July 24, 2012. REUTERS/ John Sommers II

Dead corn plants are seen on a drought-stricken field in Oakland City, Indiana, July 24, 2012. REUTERS/ John Sommers II

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<p>A fire crew watches a burn operation in Boise National Forest near the community of Featherville, Idaho, August 23, 2012.

REUTERS/Kari Greer/U.S. Forest Service</p>

A fire crew watches a burn operation in Boise National Forest near the community of Featherville, Idaho, August 23, 2012. REUTERS/Kari Greer/U.S. Forest Service

A fire crew watches a burn operation in Boise National Forest near the community of Featherville, Idaho, August 23, 2012. REUTERS/Kari Greer/U.S. Forest Service

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<p>A U.S. Forest Service firefighter fights the blaze at the Springs Fire in Boise National Forest near Banks-Garden Valley, Idaho, August 13, 2012. 

REUTERS/Kari Greer/US Forest Service</p>

A U.S. Forest Service firefighter fights the blaze at the Springs Fire in Boise National Forest near Banks-Garden Valley, Idaho, August 13, 2012. REUTERS/Kari Greer/US Forest Service

A U.S. Forest Service firefighter fights the blaze at the Springs Fire in Boise National Forest near Banks-Garden Valley, Idaho, August 13, 2012. REUTERS/Kari Greer/US Forest Service

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<p>Boys collect water in plastic bags from a fountain on an especially hot day in New York, August 3, 2012.  REUTERS/Andrew Burton </p>

Boys collect water in plastic bags from a fountain on an especially hot day in New York, August 3, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

Boys collect water in plastic bags from a fountain on an especially hot day in New York, August 3, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

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<p>The last of the 2012 drought-stricken corn is seen at Mayne's Tree Farm in Buckeystown, Maryland, October 27, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Cameron </p>

The last of the 2012 drought-stricken corn is seen at Mayne's Tree Farm in Buckeystown, Maryland, October 27, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

The last of the 2012 drought-stricken corn is seen at Mayne's Tree Farm in Buckeystown, Maryland, October 27, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

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<p>A blanket of fog enveloping the skyline of Chicago created by unseasonably warm temperatures, November 21, 2012. 
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque</p>

A blanket of fog enveloping the skyline of Chicago created by unseasonably warm temperatures, November 21, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A blanket of fog enveloping the skyline of Chicago created by unseasonably warm temperatures, November 21, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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<p>A woman holds a child in the air while playing in the pool at the Hamilton Fish Recreation Center, in the Lower East Side neighborhood of New York, July 7, 2012. 
REUTERS/Andrew Burton</p>

A woman holds a child in the air while playing in the pool at the Hamilton Fish Recreation Center, in the Lower East Side neighborhood of New York, July 7, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

A woman holds a child in the air while playing in the pool at the Hamilton Fish Recreation Center, in the Lower East Side neighborhood of New York, July 7, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

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<p>Kale Currin cools off in the Crown Fountain at Millennium Park in Chicago, July 5, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes </p>

Kale Currin cools off in the Crown Fountain at Millennium Park in Chicago, July 5, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes

Kale Currin cools off in the Crown Fountain at Millennium Park in Chicago, July 5, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes

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