Our global temperature continued its upward trend last month with June 2016 marking the warmest June ever recorded on this planet.
According to the State of the Climate report by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, Earth’s combined average temperature for the month – over both land and sea surfaces – was 61.52°F. That is a staggering 1.62°F above the 20th century average and 0.04°F above the former record that was set just last year.
June 2016 also marked the 14th month in a row to break a monthly global temperature record – the longest such streak on NOAA’s books. Moreover, it was the 378th consecutive month with a temperature above the 20th century average. That means the last time any month posted a below average reading was December 1984.
While heat dominated most of the planet this June, some places were particularly warm, including North America. Here in the contiguous US, with a monthly temperature of 71.8°F, which is 3.3°F above average, it was our warmest June on record. The previous record of 71.6°F was set in 1933. Arizona and Utah were each record warm.
These soaring temperatures, scientists say, were driven by the long-term trend of human-caused climate change. While El Niño gave global temperatures a boost earlier in the year, it has since dissipated.
Year to date, the first six months of 2016 were the warmest such period on record. This increases the likelihood that 2016 will surpass 2015 as the Earth’s warmest year ever recorded. Global temperature records date back to 1880.