With all the talk these days of a "global warming crisis" and "looming planetary disaster," it may sometimes be hard to know what to think. Relax: our global warming crisis and looming planetary disaster are going exactly as scheduled.

The big NOAA report on the 2012 climate is in, and it is very reassuring. Calm down; no need to panic. There are no surprises. Everything is just as we thought it would be. Absolutely terrible.

The US had its warmest year on record. Sea levels are at record highs. The oceans are hotter and saltier. And we're melllllllllltttttttttinggggggggggggg...

Conditions in the Arctic were a major story of 2012, with the region experiencing unprecedented change and breaking several records. Sea ice shrank to its smallest “summer minimum” extent since satellite records began 34 years ago. In addition, more than 97 percent of the Greenland ice sheet showed some form of melt during the summer, four times greater than the 1981–2010 average melt extent.

See? Everything is exactly as they said it would be, when they said "we're fucked."

[NOAA. Photo: AP]