Researchers at Cornell University have confirmed what those of us in the Northeast United States probably already expected – the first seven months of 2012 have been the hottest in recorded history.
According to Cornellâ€™s Northeast Regional Climate Center, the average temperature in the northeast between January and July was 49.9 degrees Fahrenheit, the warmest average on record since record-keeping began in 1895.
New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire all experienced record warmth. Pennsylvania and West Virginia had the second-warmest temperatures on record during this period.
Another fun fact: In every northeastern state except West Virginia, the 12 month period ending July 31 was the warmest in 117 years. According to Mark Wysocki, senior climatologist at the center, â€œquite a bit of these records [are] being broken in the 2000s.â€ He added that four out of 10 high averages were set over the past 12 years.
Despite these drastic, record-breaking changes, scientists still note that itâ€™s important to remember this is still a relatively small piece of data in the grand scheme of things and there isnâ€™t enough information just yet to determine whether this year alone is a clear result of global warming.
Image CC licensed by Steven Damron: Washington Square fountain, New York, on a hot day