Last year, Illinois had a summer that wasn't just hot, but historically hot. July was the hottest month ever recorded in the U.S., and more than 150 heat-related records were set in Illinois alone.
Kim Knowlton is a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. She says when temperatures are too warm, it can lead to catastrophic weather, like hurricanes and droughts.
But she also says it's a problem humanity can solve.
“It's important because we can do something about climate change because it's caused by carbon pollution. So when we cut carbon pollution, we prevent climate change and a lot of these very critical, extreme weather events that it's fueling” -Kim Knowlton
A federal report estimates the U.S. will spend a record amount of money to deal with 2012's natural disasters. The previous record was set just a year earlier in 2011.