U.S. scientists say July was the hottest month ever recorded in the Lower 48 states, breaking a record set during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. They say climate change is a factor. And even less a surprise: The U.S. this year keeps setting records for weather extremes, based on the precise calculations that include drought, heavy rainfall, unusual temperatures, and storms. The average temperature last month was 77.6 degrees (25 Celsius). That breaks the old record from July 1936 by 0.2 degree, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Records go back to 1895. "It's a pretty significant increase over the last record," said climate scientist Jake Crouch of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center In the past, skeptics of global warming have pointed to the Dust Bowl to argue that recent heat is not unprecedented. But Crouch said this shows that the current year "is out and beyond those Dust Bowl years. We're rivaling and beating them consistently from month to month."What's worse is that this is not a single year anomaly, but a continuing trend over the past two decades.
This is troubling for many, many, many reasons, including the very "small" one of continued life on this planet.