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 Cornell’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, “quite a bit of these records [are] being broken in the 2000s.” 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 it’s important to remember this is still a relatively small piece of data in the grand scheme of things and there isn’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