Most of the world’s land areas were much warmer in June: New report

KARACHI: “The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for June 2015 was the highest for June in the 136-year period of record, at 0.88°C (1.58°F) above the 20th century average of 15.5°C (59.9°F), surpassing the previous record set just one year ago by 0.12°C (0.22°F). This was also the fourth highest monthly departure from average for any month on record,” according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a research organisation of the US.

The two highest monthly departures from average occurred earlier this year in February and March, both at 0.90°C (1.62°F) above the 20th century average for their respective months, while January 2007 had the third highest, at 0.89°C (1.60°F) above its monthly average.

June 2015 also marks the fourth month this year that has broken its monthly temperature record, along with February, March, and May. The other months of 2015 were not far behind: January was second warmest for its respective month and April was third warmest. These six warm months combined with the previous six months (four of which were also record warm) to make the period July 2014-June 2015 the warmest 12-month period in the 136-year period of record, surpassing the previous record set just last month (June 2014-May 2015). As shown in the table below, the 10 warmest 12-month periods have all been marked in the past 10 months.

The average global temperature across land surfaces was 1.26°C (2.27°F) above the 20th century average of 13.3°C (55.9°F), the highest June temperature over land on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2012 by 0.06°C (0.11°F). Large regions of Earth’s land surfaces were much warmer than average, according to the Land & Ocean Temperature Percentiles map above, with record warmth across the western United States, parts of northern South America, several regions in central to western Africa, central Asia around and to the east of the Caspian Sea, and parts of southeastern Asia. Western Greenland and some areas in India and China were cooler than average, and northern Pakistan was much cooler than average..

Select national information is highlighted below. (Please note that different countries report anomalies with respect to different base periods. The information provided here is based directly upon these data):

The first month of winter in Australia was the fifth warmest June in the country’s 106-year period of record, with a temperature that was 1.35°C (2.43°F) higher than the 1961-1990 average. Much of the warmth was driven by daily maximum temperatures, which were the sixth highest on record when averaged across the country. Western Australia experienced its highest maximum June temperature on record, at 2.23°C (4.01°F), smashing the previous record of 1962 by 0.48°C (0.86°F). Many locations in Western Australia had their warmest June overall, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Scandinavia represented one of the few cold spots around the world in June. Norway reported its 18th coolest June since records began in 1900, at 1.7°C (3.1°F) below the 1961-1990 average. According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, most of Finland experienced temperatures 1-2°C (2-4°F) below the 1981-2010 average.

Spain experienced a June temperature that was 1.4°C (2.5°F) above the 1981-2010 national average. This marks the sixth warmest June for the country since records began in 1961. The six highest June temperatures have all occurred since 2003.

It was also warm in Austria during June, at 1.4°C (2.5°F) higher than the 1981-2010 average. This marked the 10th warmest June for the country in the 249-year period of record.

Overall, temperatures were near-average across New Zealand during June at 0.4°C (0.7°F) above the 1981-2010 average. However, a polar outbreak at the end of the month affected the entire country, but was particularly notable in Canterbury and Otago. Parts of inland Canterbury had the coldest temperatues recorded anywhere in New Zealand in the past two decades. The lowest temperature of -21.0°C (-5.8°F) recorded at Tara Hills in the Mackenzie Country on June 24th was the fourth lowest temperature ever recorded in New Zealand.

For the oceans, the June global sea surface temperature was 0.74°C (1.33°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F), the highest for June on record, surpassing the previous record set last year by 0.06°C (0.11°F). This also tied with September 2014 as the highest monthly departure from average for any month for the globally-averaged sea surface temperature. Nine of the ten highest monthly departures from average have occurred since May 2014.

Notably during June, record warmth was observed across much of the northeastern and equatorial Pacific as well as parts of the equatorial and southern Indian Ocean, various regions of both the North and South Atlantic Ocean, and the Barents Sea to the northeast of Scandinavia. Only part of the North Atlantic between Greenland and the United Kingdom was much cooler than average, an area that had been record cold for several months in 2015.

The first six months of 2015 comprised the warmest such period on record across the world’s land and ocean surfaces, at 0.85°C (1.53°F) above the 20th century average, surpassing the previous record set in 2010 by 0.09°C (0.16°F). It should be noted that 2010 was the last year with El Niño conditions; however El Niño had ended by this point in 2010, while it appears to be continuing to mature at the same point in 2015.

The average global sea surface temperature of +0.65°C (+1.17°F) for the year-to-date was the highest for January-June in the 136-year period of record, surpassing the previous record of 2010 by 0.04°C (0.07°F). The average land surface temperature of +1.40°C (2.52°F) was also record high, surpassing the previous record of 2007 by 0.13°C (0.23°F).

Most of the world’s land areas were much warmer than averge, that is falling within the top 10 percent of their historical temperature range for the January-June period, as in dicated by the Temperature Percentiles map above. These regions include nearly all of Eurasia, South America, Africa, and western North America, with pockets of record warmth across these areas. All of Australia was warmer than average. The oceans were also much warmer than average across vast expanses, with much of the northeastern and equatorial Pacific, large parts of the western North Atlantic, and the Barents Sea notably record warm. Over land, only northeastern Canada was much cooler than average during the first half of 2015, as was the North Atlantic Ocean to the south of Greenland, with a region of observed record cold.