Kelly Slivka via the NY Times
The average temperature across the contiguous United States for the first six months of 2012 has been the warmest on record dating to 1895, according to a report released Monday by the National Climatic Data Center. The average 2012 temperature of 57.4 degrees Fahrenheit through June was 4.5 degrees higher than the long-term average for the same six-month period, with most of the overall increases occurring east of the Rocky Mountains. In Colorado, which has been dealing with forest fires and drought, the average temperature in June was 6.4 degrees higher than its historical average. Other June hot spots were South Carolina and Georgia, where daily highs reached potentially record-breaking 113 and 112 degrees, respectively.
“We tend to see those kinds of records broken in July and August and not in June,” said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at the center.
Meanwhile, the presidential candidates are arguing about everything but the Earth warming, and the inexorable catastrophe involved if we do nothing.