July 2012 warmest month in 100-plus years of U.S. records | CTVNews
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."
Thirty-two states had months that were among their 10 warmest Julys, but only one, Virginia, had the hottest July on record. Crouch said that's a bit unusual, but that it shows the breadth of the heat and associated drought.
Crouch and Kevin Trenberth, climate analysis chief of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said what's happening is a double whammy of weather and climate change. They point to long-term higher night temperatures from global warming and the short-term effect of localized heat and drought that spike daytime temperatures.