Fourth Warmest July for Planet Earth

July of this year, as mentioned in a previous post, was the hottest month on record for the contiguous United States.  The heat, however, was not limited to this country’s borders.

The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported today that July 2012 was the fourth warmest July ever recorded for the entire globe.  The planet’s combined average temperature for the month – over both land and ocean surfaces – was 61.52°F, which is 1.12°F above the 20th century average.  July 2012 was also the 329th consecutive month that our global temperature was above the long-term norm.

While heat dominated most of the planet last month, some areas, such as Alaska, Australia, and parts of Europe, posted below average temperatures.  Experts say these pockets of cooler conditions are normal, but note that they are shrinking as the Earth’s atmosphere warms overall.