U.S.: Last year tied for warmest ever worldwide.

While you're shoveling, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration passes along a few warm thoughts.

In a report released this morning, it's says that 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest year worldwide in the period of record, dating to 1880.

Temperatures were 1.12 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th Century average, NOAA said.

The warmth was driven in part by the strong El Nino warming over millions of miles of the equatorial Pacific last winter. That temperature profile has since flipped.

The snow and cold we have experienced here is the result of a persistent pressure pattern in the Arctic that has allowed the export of cold air from the high latitudes.

Arctic sea ice had a long growing season last year, but the areal extent was the third-lowest in the period of observation, which began in 1979.

Now, back to shoveling.

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