The Summer of 'Six, hot as blazes almost everywhere, was sultry enough to sweat the skepticism out of even the most diehard global warming deniers. But it was only the second hottest summer since the United States began keeping records in 1895. The wilted palm still belongs to the coal-powered, Hitleriffic, Depression-stricken, Alf Landon-happy summer of 1936, when air conditioning was as rare as television. So says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in a handy-dandy weather review. Some highlights:
* While the July heat wave wasn't enough to make this summer a record setter, the period from January through August was the hottest on record, topping the previous record set in 1934.
* Above-average rainfall in August helped ease dryness, flaking, and itching in much of the 40 percent of the country that is effected by suffering from drought conditions.
* Nationwide energy consumption was 10 percent higher than would be expected under average conditions.
* Globally, this was the third-hottest summer since record-keeping started in 1880.
Related: Congratulations to Dennis Stazer, winner of this year's NOAA Mark Trail Weather Radio All Hazards Award.
Ronald Bailey threw in the sweaty towel on global warming back in the relatively balmy summer of 2005.