Year 2015’s half remains warmest on world record: NOAA research


KARACHI: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an American scientific agency, said in its latest research report that during June, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.58 (0.88°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for June in the 1880-2015 record, surpassing the previous record set last year in 2014 by 0.22 (0.12°C).

According to the NOAA report, the June globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.27 (1.26°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for June in the 1880-2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2012 by 0.11 (0.06°C). The June globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.33 (0.74°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for June in the 1880-2015 record, surpassing the previous record set last year in 2014 by 0.11 (0.06°C).

The average Arctic sea ice extent for June was 350,000 square miles (7.7 percent) below the 1981-2010 average and 60,000 square miles larger than the smallest sea ice extent that occurred in 2010. This was the third smallest June extent since records began in 1979, according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Centre using data from NOAA and NASA.

Antarctic sea ice during June was 380,000 square miles (7.2 percent) above the 1981-2010 average. This was the third largest June Antarctic sea ice extent on record and 140,000 square miles smaller than the record-large June extent of 2014.

During January-June, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.53 (0.85°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for January-June in the 1880-2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2010 by 0.16 (0.09°C).

During January-June, the globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.52 (1.40°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for January-June in the 1880-2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2007 by 0.23 (0.13°C).

During January-June, the globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.17 (0.65°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for January-June in the 1880-2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2010 by 0.07 (0.04°C).

The June contiguous U.S. average temperature was 71.4, 2.9 above the 20th century average, second only to June 1933 in the 121-year period of record. Record and near-record warmth stretched from the Rockies to West Coast. The average contiguous U.S. temperature for the first half of 2015 was 49.5, 1.9 above the 20th century average, and the 10th warmest January-June on record.

The June precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 3.53 inches, 0.60 inch above average. This was the ninth wettest June on record, and marked the third consecutive month of above-average precipitation for the Lower 48. Above-average precipitation was observed in the Southwest, Southern Plains, Ohio Valley, and Northeast; the Northwest was dry. This analysis of U.S. temperature and precipitation is based on data back to January 1895, resulting in 121 years of data.

Above-average temperatures were widespread in the West and along the Southeast coast, where 16 states were much warmer than average. California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington were each record warm for June. Several western cities set new all-time June temperature records during an intense heatwave the second half of the month, including Boise, Idaho where the temperature soared to 110.

The Northeast and Great Lakes region had near- to below-average June temperatures. Above-average precipitation across the region was associated with suppressed daytime temperatures, while night-time temperatures were near- to above average.

The Alaska state-wide average temperature for June was the sixth warmest in 91-years of record keeping at 52.4, 3.1 above average. Homer, Alaska had its warmest June on record. Prolonged warmth and dryness and lack of June snow created ideal wildfire conditions with dozens of large wildfires impacting central and southern areas of the state during June.

Precipitation

Wetter than average conditions were widespread from the Southwest, in parts of the Great Plains, and across the Midwest and Northeast – 15 states were much wetter than average. Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio were each record wet during June with monthly precipitation totals more than twice the 20th century average.

Above-average January-June temperatures were observed from the Great Plains to the West Coast, as well as in Florida. California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington each had their warmest year-to-date on record. Eight additional states were much warmer than average, including Alaska which had its second warmest January-June in the 91-year period of record with a temperature 5.1 above average. The California year-to-date temperature was 58.5, 5.2 above average, and 0.5 warmer than the previous record set just last year.

Below-average year-to-date temperatures were observed across the Midwest and Northeast, where Maine, New York, and Vermont were each much cooler than average. No state was record cold for the six-month period.