Critically hot and dry weather hit much of the country in 2012, including the Corn Belt. The East Coast endured floods from “superstorm” Sandy and received record snowfall in New England.
2012 marked the first year climate scientists described such events as part of a changing climate attributed to global warming. A warmer atmosphere both increases evaporation and holds more water. For parts of the world already susceptible to drought and heat, or to heavy storms, a warmer atmosphere can make those conditions occur more frequently and more severely.