Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Hotter Than Ever? 2015 Saw the Warmest June on Record

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Hotter Than Ever? 2015 Saw the Warmest June on Record

Article excerpt

2015 is now on its way to becoming the hottest year on record, and June the hottest month, scientists say.

NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) have each reported that June 2015 has matched or topped every other June temperature in historical records. The last 12-month period leading up to July has also been the warmest ever, according to NOAA, in a report that comes as discussion over global warming and public policy heats up in the approach to December's Paris conference on climate change.

"It was the hottest June on record. From January through June, it was the hottest first half for any year," NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden says. It was also the highest June temperatures over both land and sea, she adds.

"Everything was the hottest," Dr. Blunden says. "We don't usually see that."

The combined average global temperature for June was 61.5 degrees Fahrenheit, about 1.6 degreesF above the 20th-century average and 0.22 degreesF higher than the previous record, set last year, NOAA's latest calculations show. NASA's analysis puts the figure at 1.4 degreesF above average, with 2015 tying 1998 for the warmest June on record. JMA's estimates have June 2015 temperatures at 0.74 degreesF warmer than average, besting 2014 for the hottest on record.

In other words, the exact figures vary, but the conclusions coincide: Earth is experiencing the hottest temperatures recorded in the last 136 years, Blunden says.

While June was warm all over the world, Spain, Austria, parts of Asia, and Australia saw exceptional heat, the Associated Press reported. A heat wave that struck Pakistan that month killed more than 1,200 people, making it the eighth deadliest since 1900.

Rising temperatures are not the only markers showing warning signs: "Sea ice is melting, glaciers are continuing to melt, snow packs are low... that has a real impact on people," says Blunden.

"You can look at [this data] as another beat on the drum: 'Please, pay attention to what's happening,' " she adds.

Part of the reason behind the record heat has to do with a particularly strong El Nino for this year. …

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