A report released this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirms what many of us thought we knew anecdotally: It's hotter than ever out there.
The NOAA's National Climactic Data Center's "State of the Climate: National Overview June 2012" report concludes that the period from July 2011 to June 2012 saw average temperatures in the Lower 48 states that were more than 3 degrees above the long-term average since record-keeping began in 1895.
And if you're into sweating the details, climate scientists say it's going to get worse.
According to the Huffington Post, NOAA's head of climate monitoring, Derek Arndt, was quoted in a recent Associated Press story as saying, "In the future you would expect larger, longer more intense heat waves and we've seen that in the last few summers."
According to other Huffington Post stories, a report by scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey found that sea level is rising at three to four times the global average in a "hotspot" along the Atlantic Coast, and a study by the National Research Council concluded that sea level in California will rise six inches by 2030.
The future that climate scientists have predicted for decades could be here. As one Princeton professor recently said, "What we are seeing is a window into what global warming really looks like."