Against the backdrop of the international talks on climate change occurring in The Hague, Netherlands, scientists said yesterday that January through October in the U.S. this year saw the highest average temperature on record. The country averaged 58.1 degrees Fahrenheit over those months, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the top temperature since records started being kept in 1895. Meanwhile, the Inuits of the Canadian Arctic are experiencing something not recorded in their oral history: thunder and lightning. Electric storms are just one of the changes in the Arctic attributed to climate change in a new study by the Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development. Others include melting permafrost, thinning ice, mudslides, and skinny wildlife.