What's Causing Extreme Weather?
Rotten luck and a warmer planet are at play, according to scientists.
(Read more: "Extreme Weather" in National Geographic magazine.)
It's not easy to shatter a record that has lasted for more than 75 years. But that's what happened last month, when a stubborn heat wave pushed July temperatures in the United States into uncharted territory.
Not since 1895, when national record keeping began, has the thermometer stayed so high. The average temperature in July was 3.3°F (1.8°C) above the 20th-century average, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), breaking a record set in 1936. (Related: "July Hottest Month on Record in the U.S.")
Besides making life miserable for people in places like Kansas City, Missouri, where the temperature hit 107°F (42°C) on July 25, the withering