If it's seemed unusually hot this summer, it's because it is! According to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report, the 12-month period between July 2011 and June 2012 had the warmest temperatures ever recorded. "It's hard to pinpoint climate change as the driving factor, but it appears that it is playing a role," National Climatic Data Center scientist Jake Crouch told Reuters of the long-term warming trend. "What's going on for 2012 is exactly what we would expect from climate change."
The report found that every single state in the contiguous U.S. except for Washington saw warmer-than-average temperatures during this time period. While many have been suffering from heat waves, wild fires, and droughts, scientists believe this is only the beginning of what’s to come.
"What we are seeing is a window into what global warming really looks like,” said Princeton professor Michael Oppenheimer.