You don’t need a thermometer, The Weather Channel or even Al Gore to know it’s hot but you can be sure that scientists will issue an official report confirming that the first half of 2006 was the hottest on record.
The average temperatures of the first half of 2006 were the highest ever recorded for the continental United States, scientists announced today.
Temperatures for January through June were 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average.
Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri experienced record warmth for the period, while no state experienced cooler-than-average temperatures, reported scientists from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.
Scientists have previously said that 2005 was the warmest year on record for the entire globe.
Last month the United States experienced the second warmest June since weather record keeping began in 1895.
This warming coupled with less than average precipitation caused moderate to extreme droughts in almost 45 percent of the contiguous United States. However, some areas, such as the Northeast of the country experienced record rainfalls and severe floods.
Many experts believe that such weather anomalies are the result of global warming, an average increase in the Earth’s atmospheric temperature caused at least in part by human activities.
Other studies reveal consequences of a warmer climate.