NOAA: Warmest June on Record – 2010 on Track for Hottest Year

Temperature anomalies for June 2010 - courtesy NOAA

In their monthly analysis just released of global land and ocean surface temperature data, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that June 2010 was the hottest on record. The average combined land and ocean surface temperatures for the period from April to June was the warmest on record, and year-to-date (January to June) is the second warmest, behind 2007. The analysis from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center is based on records dating back to 1880.

June was the 304th consecutive month of combined land/sea temperatures above the 20th century average, according to NOAA. The last month to fall below the average was February of 1985. The ten warmest average global temperatures since 1880 have occurred in the past 15 years.

Highlights for June 2010

  • The combined average land/ocean surface temperatures for June was the warmest on record at 61.1 degrees Fahrenheit (16.2 degrees Celsius), or 1.22°F (0.68°) above the 20th century average of 59.9°F (15.5°C).
  • Global average land surface temperatures for June were 1.93°F above the 20th century average of 55.9°F – the warmest on record.
  • Warmer-than-average condition dominated much of the globe, especially in Peru, the eastern and central United States, and western Asia.
  • Cooler-than-average temperatures prevailed in the northwestern U.S., Scandinavia, and southern China.
  • Global average ocean surface temperatures were 0.97°F above the 20th century average, making it the fourth warmest June on record. The warming oceans were most pronounced in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Ocean surface temperatures along the equatorial Pacific Ocean continued to decrease in June, consistent with the end of El Niño. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center forecasts La Niña condition will develop during the northern hemisphere summer of 2010.

Highlights for April-June & year-to-date (January-June)

  • The combined average land/ocean surface temperatures for the period from April to June 2010 was 1.26°F (0.70°C) above the 20th century average – the warmest April-June on record.
  • Year-to-date combined average land/sea temperatures were 57.5°F, or 1.22°F above the 20th century average, representing the warmest January-June on record.

Polar sea ice

  • Arctic sea ice extent in June averaged 4.2 million square miles (10.9 million square kilometers), or 10.6 percent below the 1979-2000 average, the lowest June sea ice extent since record-keeping began in 1979. June 2010 was the 19th consecutive June with below-average sea ice extent.
  • Antarctic sea ice extent for June averaged 8.3 percent above the ’79-2000 average – the largest sea ice extent on record.

Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schueneman
Tom is the founder and managing editor of and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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