Chicago today looks set to get up to 39°C, part of an emerging pattern of worsening heat waves in the region.
The holy terror this summer, however, is 2,000 km to the northeast. Greenland has experienced unprecedented thawing this month:
The set of images released by NASA on Tuesday show a rapid thaw between 8 July and 12 July. Within that four-day period, measurements from three satellites showed a swift expansion of the area of melting ice, from about 40% of the ice sheet surface to 97%.
About half of Greenland's surface ice sheet melts during a typical summer, but [Jay Zwally, a glaciologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center] said he and other scientists had been recording an acceleration of that melting process over the last few decades. This year his team had to rebuild their camp, at Swiss Station, when the snow and ice supports melted.
He said he was most surprised to see indications in the images of melting even around the area of Summit Station, which is about two miles above sea level.
It was the second unusual event in Greenland in a matter of days, after an iceberg the size of Manhattan broke off from the Petermann Glacier. But the rapid melt was viewed as more serious.
Greenland's ice sheet accounts for possibly 25% of the world's fresh water. A massive release of that water into the North Atlantic would not only raise sea levels worldwide, but also could distrupt thermohaline circulation, which in turn would make northern Europe's weather more like Canada's.
Of course, we'll all forget this in the winter, and react with surprise and alarm in a year or two when we have another record-breaking summer. Time to adapt.