8/9/2012 2:34:23 PM

July Hottest on Record in U.S.

It's hot, hot, hot, across the U.S. A new report from NOAA confirms that July 2012 was the hottest on record in the Lower 48, breaking records from the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s.

"It's a pretty signficant increase over the last record," said climate scientist Jake Crouch of NOAA's National Climate Data Center. "[The current year] is out and beyond those Dust Bowl years. We're rivaling and beating them consistently from month to month."

NOAA Map July 2012

In addition to the heat, the nation was dry, with drought expanding to cover 63% of the contiguous U.S. The hot, dry conditions led to massive wildlifes that engulfed two million acres. And weather extremes including drought, heavy rainfall, and storms kept breaking records.

This year's U.S. Climate Extreme Index was 46% compared with an average of 20%.

"[These extremes] would not have happened in the absence of human-caused climate change," said climate scientist Michael Mann of the Pennsylvania State University.

Will this be the summer when the U.S. finally accepts the reality of climate change—and decides to act? Visit our Take Action page to find out how you can become part of the solution.

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