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Superstorms and Scorchers: #10 Heatwave

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Heat wave

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Race horse "Flying High" enjoyed a shot of cold water during the 2012 heat wave. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Forecasters warned that 2012 would be a year of extremes, and their prognostications prompted a surge of weather-related searches on Yahoo!. Record heat waves across the United States and Europe pushed the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization to conclude that 2012 will be one of the warmest years on record. According to meteorologist Bob Smerbeck, temps in June and July placed 2012 among the three hottest summers in the United States since 1950.

One result of the oppressive heat was a change in attitude: The University of Texas found that the number of Americans accepting climate change as real shot up to 70 percent, a nearly 20-point jump from only two years ago, when it was snowfall rather than heat waves making records.

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