Reporting These Broken Temperature Records Is Probably As Tiring As It Is Reading About Them

People crowd the Caribbean Bay swimming pool as they try to escape a heat, in Yongin, South Korea, Sunday, July 10, 2016. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/AHN YOUNG-JOON
People crowd the Caribbean Bay swimming pool as they try to escape a heat, in Yongin, South Korea, Sunday, July 10, 2016. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/AHN YOUNG-JOON

This past June, once again, was the hottest June on record, according to data released Tuesday from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). June 2016 was 1.62°F hotter than the average global land and ocean temperatures.

No region experienced a record cold temperature in June, according to the report. Central and South America was the only region to see slightly cooler than average temperatures — slightly offset by the rest of the continent.

This is the 14th consecutive month of record heat for the globe. Reports that the earth broke another monthly high average temperature record have become alarming in their repetitiveness. This year, May, April, March, February, and January broke records. Before than, 2015 saw month after month break or shatter monthly average temperature records, dating back to February.

2016 is also shaping up to again be the hottest year on record, with January-June being the hottest first half of any year ever recorded — 1.89°F above average for land and ocean, and 3.17°F above average for just land areas.

The last time the world experienced any month where it was cooler than average was December 1984, when President Reagan was finishing up his first term. The last time the world experienced a June colder than the 20th century average of 59.9°F was 40 years ago, in 1976.

“Overall, 14 of the 15 highest monthly temperature departures in the record have all occurred since February 2015,” the report noted, “with January 2007 representing the one month prior to February 2015.”

The land on average heated up more than the ocean, though it is harder for the ocean to change temperature. The month’s globally averaged land surface temperature was 2.23°F hotter than average, while sea surface temperature was 1.39°F above the average monthly sea surface temperature. Still, the report noted that “the 12 highest monthly global ocean temperature departures have all occurred in the past 12 months.”


Arctic sea ice also hit a record low for June, with the average sea ice extent for June hitting 530,000 square miles, or 11.4 percent, below the 1981–2010 average. And Antarctic sea ice extent was also below average, with June 2016 ice coverage ranking as the 13th-smallest on record.

The report pointed out high temperature anomalies in North America, South America, Africa, and Asia — North America led the way with its hottest June ever, and the other continents hit top five records. A Climate Central research report released Tuesday found which cities in the United States were warming fastest, and compared them to which cities were hottest. The 25 hottest cities were predictably clustered in the south, while the 25 fastest-warming cities were actually spread fairly evenly across the country.

The past year has been warmer than it otherwise would be due to El Nino, but climatologist and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Director Gavin Schmidt notes that the record for the last six months would still have been a record even without it.

July or August could be the first month that doesn’t break another monthly record, breaking a streak of 14 months, which is unheard of for global temperature records.

Countries around the world committed to limiting global warming below 2C last year in Paris, and some analyses suggest that they will need some policy help to make that happen.