Last Month Was the Hottest June in 137 Years

July 20, 2016 | Erica Tennenhouse

Los Angeles sunset
Photo credit: Jacob Avanzato/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Record-setting heat continues.

Last month was the hottest June in in modern history — 0.9 degrees Celsius warmer than the 20th century average — following 14 months of record-breaking heat.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the last month in which Earth did not encounter any record high temperatures was back in April 2015.

The numbers are based on the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which has been keeping tabs on the heat around the world since 1880.

For the first 6 months of 2016, the planet experienced its warmest half-year on record, with the average temperature 1.3 degrees Celsius warmer than in the late nineteenth century.

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According to NASA chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt, El Niño is only partly to blame for the rise in global temperatures in 2016. “While the El Niño event in the tropical Pacific this winter gave a boost to global temperatures from October onwards, it is the underlying trend which is producing these record numbers,” Schmidt said in a NASA statement.

Even as the effects of the recent El Niño began to calm down in the spring, global temperatures continued to break records due to human activity.


Warming in the Arctic has been even more extreme that the rest of the globe, according to Walt Meier, a sea ice scientist at NASA Goddard.

"It has been a record year so far for global temperatures, but the record high temperatures in the Arctic over the past six months have been even more extreme," Meier said. "This warmth as well as unusual weather patterns have led to the record low sea ice extents so far this year."

With massive heat waves expected to hit the US this month, it doesn’t look like things are going to cool down any time soon.

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