Mother Nature made her mark again this year and did so, unfortunately,
in the most extreme ways: hellish heat, drought, superstorms and other
wild weather events.
Scorching heat waves swept across the U.S., topping records and sending many to beaches for a reprieve. The U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization concluded 2012 will be one of the warmest years on record. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)