Our global temperature continued its upward trend last month with June 2015 marking the warmest June ever recorded for the entire planet.
According to a report by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, Earth’s combined average temperature for the month – over both land and sea surfaces – was 61.48°F, which is 1.58°F above the 20th century average. It surpassed the previous record set last year by 0.22°F and marked the fourth highest monthly departure from average for any month on record.
For the oceans, the globally averaged sea surface temperature for the month was 1.33°F above the 20th century average of 61.5°F. That is the warmest reading on record for any June, eclipsing the previous record set just last year. It also tied with September 2014 as the highest monthly departure from average for any month.
While moderate El Niño conditions – a natural climate pattern that boosts oceanic and atmospheric temperatures – played a role in June’s record heat, it does not tell the whole story. The long-term trend of human-caused climate change was also a key factor. NOAA reports that fourteen of the fifteen warmest years on record have occurred since 2000 and they were not all El Niño years.
Year to date, the first six months of 2015 were the warmest of any year on record. Global temperature records date back to 1880.