July was officially the hottest month for the United State’s 48 contiguous states—3.3 degrees above the average. Those high temperatures also contributed to the country’s warmest 12-month period every recorded.
Jake Crouch of the National Climatic Data Center says that it’s more than just daytime highs that scientists are looking at. He says that “we have also seen very warm nighttime temperatures, and that is part of a long-term trend we’ve seen across the contiguous U.S. over the past several decades. The hotter days increase the amount of moisture the lower atmosphere can hold, and this means it doesn’t cool off as much at night anymore.”
Republican U.S. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri wrote in the Springfield News-Leader:
At the end of July, all of Missouri’s counties were designated a state of “severe” to “exceptional” drought — representing the worst level of drought possible. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently added 218 counties from 12 drought-stricken states to its list of natural disaster areas, bringing the overall total to 1,584 counties in 32 states — more than half of all the counties nationwide.
According to the USDA’s crop report, half of the nation’s corn crop is now in rated in the worst condition, of “poor” to “very poor,” with Missouri topping the list as one of the hardest hit states. Meanwhile, approximately 73 percent of the domestic cattle inventory nationwide is located in an area that has been impacted by this drought, and 59 percent of America’s and 99 percent of Missouri’s pasture and rangeland is in “poor” to “very poor” condition, compared to 38 percent a year ago.
We all know what’s going on. Scientists like James Hansen of NASA have been warning us about extreme weather events as a result of the increased levels of carbon dioxide humans are pumping into the atmosphere. Climate change has been going on for some time and it is getting worse.
South Carolina U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, infamous for his resistance to Congress taking measures to address climate change, is notorious for his 2010 tweet that ridiculed the notion of a warming planet. When Washington was hit with a severe snowstorm that February causing the House to cancel all votes for a week, Mr. DeMint tweeted: