The 12-month period from August 2011 to July 2012 was the hottest ever recorded for the U.S. So far this year, more than 27,000 high temperature records have been broken or tied — beating cold temperature records by 10 to 1.
All the while, the U.S. has faced a barrage of record-breaking wildfires, powerful storms, and an historic drought that covers the majority of the country.
“You look out the window and you see climate change in action,” said Kevin Trenberth, a scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in an interview this summer. Below are some ways that these extremes have manifested themselves around the country.