India's monsoon rains finally arrived in August—two months late—and vegetation conditions showed some improvement.

Arctic sea ice extent fell to 1.58 million square miles on August 26, 2012. This was 27,000 square miles smaller than the previous record low of 1.61 million square miles set in 2007.

A series of unusually strong, long-lasting high pressure systems has parked over Greenland this summer. As many a weather forecaster has explained, high pressure generally leads to calm winds and sunny skies, both of which boost temperatures during the all-day sunshine of mid-summer at high latitudes. The conditions contributed to widespread melting of the ice sheet.

The rainy season in India arrived late and delivered far less precipitation than usual in summer 2012, leading to severe drought across large parts of the country.

Check the fine print on many cans of hairspray or shaving cream these days, and you’ll prob

In September 2011, Arctic sea ice reached its second-lowest minimum extent in the satellite record.

The lead character in the 2011 climate story was La Niña—the cool phase of the El Ni

In 2011, global sea levels fell below the long-term trend of sea level rise, but as La Niña waned late in the year, global ocean levels began rising rapidly.

Except for some La Niña-cooled regions of the tropical Pacific and a few other cool spots, the upper ocean held more heat than average in 2011 in the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Southern Oceans.

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