According to a recent report by NOAA, July 2012 was the hottest month since record-keeping began back in 1895. NOAA data showed that the average temperature for the United States was 77.6 degrees Fahrenheit, .2 degrees hotter than the previous record set back in July of 1936.
The hottest month on record coincides with the hottest 12 month period ever recorded in the United States. The heat, which has spurred drought conditions over 63 percent of the United States, has had a severe impact on US Agriculture.
NASA scientist James Hansen and other climate scientists have repeatedly warned that heating events such as this year’s US drought, the Texas drought of 2011, and the Russian drought of 2010, are likely to become more common as human-caused global warming intensifies. A few days ago, NASA published a paper showing that extreme temperature events are currently likely to occur with ten year frequency. In the 1951-1980 period, comparable events were likely to occur only once every 300 years.
A number of newspapers have made statements to the effect that we should hope that atmospheric conditions change soon. And though, eventually, this drought will end, unless something is done about worldwide human greenhouse gas emissions, these kinds of extreme events will continue to recur and worsen.