March through May of this year was the hottest such period in the U.S. since records have been kept, averaging 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit above the previous record set in 1910, according to the latest stats from the National Climatic Data Center. January through May of this year also set a temperature record in the U.S., although on a global scale, 2000 hasn’t been remarkably warm so far. As summer kicks off this week in the northern hemisphere, scientists are predicting that a number of areas in the U.S. will continue to experience heat and drought. Heat waves of this sort are one of the effects of climate change expected to hit the U.S. in the coming century, according to a comprehensive report released earlier this month by the U.S. Global Change Research Program.