The Natural Resources Defense Council has released a new report that states nine Maine counties set monthly records for high temperatures and rainfall last year.  This ranks Maine among the top ten states in the nation concerning high temperature and rainfall records.  No other states in New England were on the list.

2012 was the hottest year on record in the United States.

In Maine, there was a warm spell in March, along with hot days in June and August, when readings  at weather stations in 16 communities broke daily highs dating to 1936.

Last year brought the worst drought in 50 years to the Midwest, 9.2 million acres were destroyed in wildfires out west, and in July the warmest temperatures ever recorded in the U.S occurred.

"The effects of global  warming "are very local" and carry "a big human cost (in terms of) the  disruption of communities," said Kim Knowlton, deputy director of the  council's science center.

According to the report, local, state and the federal government should make plans for the future concerning warming temperatures and the effects that those temps will have on the local population.  Knowlton, the council scientist, said "that planning and preparation  for extreme weather is much less costly than spending on disaster and  emergency response efforts.

The effects of global warming are not just land based.  Warming ocean temperatures have a significant impact on the ocean food chain.  Here in Maine, lobster fishermen have noticed a gradual warming of temperatures in the Gulf of Maine. Patrice McCarron, director of the Maine Lobstermen's  Association in Kennebunk, said "we know that  lobsters are highly dependent on ocean temperatures. The range of the resource shifting to the north, in search of colder bottom  water, they've actually just moved."