July Was Hottest Month In U.S. Since Records Have Been Kept

July was the hottest month on record for the United States:

In 118 years of U.S. records, July 2012 stands as king, hotter than any month previously observed. NOAA reports today that the average temperature across the continental U.S. was 3.3 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 20th century average, 0.2 degrees hotter than the previous record set in July, 1936.

Not only was the month of July unrivaled for its hot temperatures across the nation, but so too were the first seven months of the calendar year and the last 12 months. In fact, the last four 12-month periods have each successively established new records for the warmest period of that length.

In this most recent 12-month span from August 2011-July 2012, every state observed warmer than average temperatures except Washington state, which was near average.

Even worse, though, the high temperatures were accompanied by heavily decreased rain fall:

Thankfully, summer is almost over.

FILED UNDER: Environment, Natural Disasters, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Vast Variety says:

    Having said that, global temperatures have also been running warm. While NOAA’s global report for July temperatures has not yet been issued, June ranked 4th warmest on record globally and marked the 328th consecutive month of above average temperatures.

    This is what worries me more than just 1 warm month.




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  2. PJ says:

    But don’t forget, Global warming is a myth, up until it’s not man made, up and until it’s too late to do anything about it.




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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Was working in the heat until 2 weeks ago. Yeah, it was a mother. Since I got laid off, been working around the place, knocking off between 11 and 1 pm. But what is even worse, is the drought. We hadn’t had any rain in almost 2 months until last wkend. (was supposed to get some yesterday and today: Nada so far) My trees are all seriously stressed, and I am going to lose more than a few.

    The poor guy who put corn in down in the valley has a complete loss on his hands and the ranchers… I don’t know what they are going to do for feed this winter. They are already into the 1st hay. There won’t be a 2nd. They are going to lose their asses as well.




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  4. mattb says:

    @Vast Variety: Agreed… the key phrase that is hard to ignore;

    marked the 328th consecutive month of above average temperatures.

    Can we say climate change trend?




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  5. @mattb:

    As long as you don’t want to win a Republican primary, sure, you can say that.




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  6. J-Dub says:

    Thankfully, summer is almost over.

    Except that we barely had a winter here in the Baltimore/Washington area, so will summer end or will it just carry over into next year?




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  7. legion says:

    @J-Dub: Winter Summer is coming….




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  8. Rob in CT says:

    While I don’t think it will happen again this winter, the last one was such a psuedo-winter it was ridiculous. The only upside to it was that it saved me ~250 gallons of heating oil.

    I live in CT. Rainy, lush CT. And even we have been flirting with drought conditions.

    One does have to be careful about taking localized or short-lived experiences and claiming it proves something. But that’s the thing: the overall data matches up. This sh*t is happening, folks. And given the lag time involved, by the time enough people realize it’s potentially catastrophic, the only solutions left will be draconian. It totally sucks.




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  9. mantis says:

    At least we can all rest soundly knowing that global warming is a big hoax concocted to funnel money to the most powerful group in our country, climate research scientists. They are like supervillains, they are.




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  10. Ernieyeball says:

    Compared to global seasonal norms, July 2012 was the coolest July since 2008,

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/08/06/global-temperature-trend-update-july-201

    So what should we focus on the USA or the planet?




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  11. sam says:

    Wonder what Jim Inhofe is thinking as Oklahoma burns to the ground.




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  12. Modulo Myself says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    Impressive graph. You do realize that even though it comes from the last denier-approved scientists, Spencer and Christie, it still shows that the earth is heating up.




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  13. mattb says:

    @Ernieyeball:
    That’s why the correct term is not “global warming,” but “climate change” — though there is a strong warming component to this.

    Beyond that, 2008 to 2012 is *just a four year period* – far too short of a time frame to look for any major change… that said, the graph still demonstrates a mean increase over those four short years.

    Once we look to a broader range of dates, and at a broader range of data… well things seem to take a decidedly different mapping:
    http://berkeleyearth.org/results-summary/

    Again, we can’t be completely sure of cause, but the trend is still very clearly there…




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  14. @mattb:

    Actually, I think global warming is a good term, and Ernie’s link supports that:

    Global composite temp.: +0.28 C (about 0.50 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for July.

    Northern Hemisphere: +0.44 C (about 0.79 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for July.

    Southern Hemisphere: +0.11 C (about 0.20 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for July.

    Tropics: +0.33 C (about 0.59 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for July.

    Geez, what more do you want.




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  15. Ernieyeball says:

    @Modulo Myself: Be sure to provide us all with the Approved Setteled Science list of researchers so I won’t dare read anything other than the party line.




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  16. Ernieyeball says:

    but the trend is still very clearly there…

    Trends change…Disco never dies!




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  17. mattb says:

    @john personna: The problem is that “Global Warming” — though ultimately accurate — tends to misrepresent the complex nature of climate change in a global climatic ecosystem.

    And the fact is that in part due to the changes, as I understand it, there are certain areas of the global climate that are experiencing localized cooling trends.

    Of course, what people don’t like to admit is that those places are in the minority (and that those changes are in part due to shifts in weather systems created by the increase in temperatures in other locations or to local factors).




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  18. mattb says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    Trends change…Disco never dies!

    Ba-dump cha… thank you very much, be sure to tip your waitress.

    That said, the current, century plus global warming trend is taking a rather long time to die.




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  19. Ernieyeball says:

    …century plus global warming trend is taking a rather long time to die.

    100 years yikes!
    According to the Geologic Time Scale (I sure hope this science is setteled) Earth was formed 4.6 billion years ago and life first appeared on our home planet 4 billion years ago.
    100 years? Long time?…Compared to what?




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  20. mantis says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    According to the Geologic Time Scale (I sure hope this science is setteled) Earth was formed 4.6 billion years ago and life first appeared on our home planet 4 billion years ago.

    For much of the Earth’s history the planet was inhospitable to mammalian lifeforms, let alone human civilization as we know it. I for one would rather we not return to climates that would kill all of us. Of course that is quite extreme. More realistically, I would not like to live through the massive global disruptions that continued warming trends would cause in agriculture, displacement of low lying population centers, massive wildlife extinctions, etc.




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  21. al-Ameda says:

    In 118 years of U.S. records, July 2012 stands as king, hotter than any month previously observed. NOAA reports today that the average temperature across the continental U.S. was 3.3 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 20th century average, 0.2 degrees hotter than the previous record set in July, 1936.

    NOAA? A very biased source of information. NOAA has a conflict of interest – they’re a government-funded agency that has conveniently omitted data that is older than 118 years ago. Why? I want to see the private sector reports and data concerning July average temperatures.




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  22. Ernieyeball says:

    @mantis:

    For much of the Earth’s history the planet was inhospitable to mammalian lifeforms,

    No kidding…I never would have guessed…

    I would not like to live through the massive global disruptions that continued warming trends would cause in agriculture, displacement of low lying population centers, massive wildlife extinctions, etc.

    Not like I have advocated for any of this.

    Of course the late Great George Carlin makes a point when he posits that Save the Planet really means Save the Planet For Us!

    http://centripetalnotion.com/2007/01/06/18:13:10/




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  23. Ernieyeball says:
  24. mantis says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    Not like I have advocated for any of this.

    I’m not saying you have. I’m just pointing out that the real concern about climate change has to do with its disruption to our way of life, not some assertion that the Earth has always been the way it is now.

    Of course the late Great George Carlin makes a point when he posits that Save the Planet really means Save the Planet For Us!

    I’m a big Carlin fan and I’ve often thought of that routine when discussing climate change. He is correct of course; however, the criticism in his joke is a rhetorical one. We aren’t trying to save the planet. We’re trying to save ourselves. And I say damn right we are.




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  25. mattb says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    100 years? Long time?…Compared to what?

    Ahh… this old argument.

    You are completely correct, that the Earth is very, very old. And yes, the earth had warmed and cooled in the past.

    What this misses is an examination of the scale of the change/time delta. The fact is that we are going through a period of rapid trending shift in temperature unlike any other.

    Or, put a different way, how many examples, outside of the modern era (past 200 years), can you find any period which feature the accelerated changes to the climate that we are currently experiencing?




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  26. mattb says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    Of course the late Great George Carlin makes a point when he posits that Save the Planet really means Save the Planet For Us!

    And the issue with this is?

    And it’s really “Save the Planet” for the future generations of “us.”

    From there we can start to quibble as exactly how we define “us” (globally as humans or nationally as Americans or some other way)?




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  27. Ernieyeball says:

    @mattb:

    …can you find any period which feature the accelerated changes to the climate that we are currently experiencing?

    I’m still waiting for Modulo Myself to provide me with the Approved Settled Science list of researchers. I want to be sure to arrive at the correct results.




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  28. mattb says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    I’m still waiting for Modulo Myself to provide me with the Approved Settled Science list of researchers. I want to be sure to arrive at the correct results.

    Nice dodge there.

    So are what exactly are you arguing? That there currently is no out of the ordinary Climate Change?




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  29. Ernieyeball says:

    @mattb: At 12:08 in this thread I posted a link to an item that seemed to be on the subject of Mr. Mataconis’ post.
    Apparently this means I am “arguing” something.
    Now you have not so subtly suggested that I may not agree with you on the matter.
    You will never know. I will never tell you.




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  30. mattb says:

    So you’re being intentionally defuse.

    For what it’s worth, my position — concentrating on “record” highs and lows tends to distract from the more important data. And taken as a whole, a preponderance of evidence suggests that over the last 200 years the earth has increasing warmed at a rate that is not in keeping with past climate cycles. And given that this ongoing temperature average temperature trend upwards coincides with rapid industrialization (not to mention other natural events that should have, in theory, had a net average cooling effect) we need to accept that man has played a significant role in climate change.

    Further, that while we may never reach magical “consensus”, what I’ve articulated matches the beliefs and findings of a majority (read as, at the very least, more that 50%) of climate and climate related scientists and researchers.




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  31. Lit3Bolt says:

    There goes the lie-bral media again, purposely misreporting the thermometers in order for the Dark Cabal of Climate Scientists to gain world power and install worship of Bamophet as the world religion. Well, I’m not falling for their tricks!




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  32. mantis says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    You will never know. I will never tell you.

    Oh noes!




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  33. J-Dub says:

    @Ernieyeball: A long time in relation to the birth of baby Jesus, which is the only timeline that matters!




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  34. Ernieyeball says:

    @J-Dub: to some…




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