If you're still reeling from this weekend's heat wave, this is going to sound especially credible: The US just completed its hottest 12-month stretch ever recorded, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced today. That's in part thanks to a warmer-than-average June, which saw 170 all-time high temperatures recorded in various cities across the country, CNN reports. The numbers date back to 1895, when the government first began keeping records.
NOAA believes South Carolina and Georgia may have hit all-time highs last month, hitting temps of 113 degrees and 112 degrees, respectively. It was also the 10th driest June on record, with widespread droughts reported. All this may be the "new normal," one climate scientist tells Reuters. "It's hard to pinpoint climate change as the driving factor, but it appears that it is playing a role," he said. "What's going on for 2012 is exactly what we would expect from climate change." (Read more National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stories.)