If you think it's been way too hot in

Climate City, you're right.

The hottest July on record just ended in Grants Pass, according to Kathie Dello of the Oregon Climate Change Institute at Oregon State University.

Dello said the institute's database has Grants Pass records dating to 1885. Current numbers come from KAJO Radio on Rogue River Highway in southeast Grants Pass.

How stiflingly hot was it?

Consider that 15 days of the month hit 100 or better, four records were set or tied, and the mercury topped out at 109 on July 1.

According to

the Daily Courier's weather statistics, dating back to 1948,

no other single month in Grants Pass has had more than 10 days of triple digits.

July's average high temperature is 90.1 degrees, but this month's average high is a searing 98.1 degrees.

We finished the month with a blast-furnace 101, 108, 105, 107 and 103 this week.

The previous average maximum high temperature for July was 96.7 in 1906. The average low temperature this month of 61.2 degrees is also the highest on record, eclipsing the 59.5 set in 2006.

Records show July 2013 was the second-hottest July on record in Grants Pass.

Over the long haul, Grants Pass has averaged about seven days over 100 each year.

The record is 19, set in 1996. As recently as 2011 Grants Pass had zero triple digit days.

The heat has its benefits.

"Our tomatoes, eggplants and peppers are really starting to take off," said Sam Engel of the Josephine County Food Bank, speaking of the giant garden at Raptor Creek Farm on Upper River Road.

But it's also hard on volunteers who harvest, and Engel urges anyone who wants to help to call the Food Bank at 541-479-5556.

At Caveman Pool, Manager Sue Bars said attendance is probably 25 percent above average this summer. "We sell a lot of ice cream, and we keep lots of people wet and cool," Bars said.

On a serious note, Dello said that while climatologists like to avoid analyzing short-term trends, hot or cold, it is hard to not take note of the recent trends Ñ although July was unseasonably cool in the eastern half of the nation.

The warming of the atmosphere is the result of higher levels of carbon dioxide emitted by man, the majority of climate scientists say. The Obama administration has proposed a strategy to reduce CO2 emissions.

"We're changing the climate and it's becoming evident," said Dello, associate director of climate change research at the OSU institute. "We can see our summers have warmed quite a bit."

Art Robinson, the two-time Congressional candidate from Cave Junction who is running against U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield, again this year, is one of the dissidents.

Robinson, a biochemist and former colleague of two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, won the "Voice of Reason" Award at the International Conference on Climate Change, a gathering of skeptics of man-made climate change, earlier in July.

A dozen years ago Robinson gathered signatures from scientists who don't believe man-made CO2 emissions are causing global warming. The Courier was unable to reach him to comment for this story.

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Reach reporter Jeff Duewel at 541-474-3720 or jduewel@thedailycourier.com

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