PHOTOS: Summer of Misery
The summer of 2010 isn’t officially over yet, but much of the country -- and the world -- will be happy to see it gone. A new NRDC analysis of June, July, and August temperature data compiled from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Historical Climatology Network shows that many heat records were set across the United States this summer. There are 1,218 weather stations in the lower 48, and they have been collecting data since 1895. This summer was the hottest on record for 153 of those, and about one in three tallied a top-five hottest season. Factor in all of the flooding and drought worldwide, and this summer was one for the record books -- for all of the wrong reasons. And while it’s difficult to link any single weather event or disaster specifically to global warming, 30 years of hot summers make a strong argument. The first decade of the 21st century was the hottest on record, topping the 1990s, which topped the 1980s. So get used to it -- the unsavory weather this summer lines up with what scientists expect in a world with more global warming pollution in the atmosphere.