Tuesday, July 22, 2014

June's Record Breaking Heat and the Global Warming Trend

On both land and sea last month was the hottest June in recorded history. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), June 2014 broke the record set in June 1998. What makes this data noteworthy is the fact that June 2014 is part of a much larger warming trend. These individual observations are not isolated events they are part of a wider meteorological trend.

June is the third straight month of record breaking (or tying) global high temperatures. Nine of the 10 warmest June's on record have occurred in the 21st century, including each of the past five years. The world has not experienced a cooler than average June in almost 20 years (1976).

Parts of southeast Asia, eastern and central Africa, northern South America and southern Greenland experienced record June warmth as did New Zealand, France and Iceland.

June 2014 also featured the largest monthly global ocean temperature increase on record. Parts of the equatorial and northeast Pacific Ocean registered record warm levels.

With the exception of February, each month of 2014, has ranked in the four warmest of each respective month. The first six months of 2014 tied with 2002 as the third warmest such period on record for the globe, cooler only than 2010 and 1998.

Regions experiencing record warmth from January-June, include parts of eastern Australia, the western Atlantic Ocean, the west and northeast Pacific Ocean, an area from Iceland to northern Scandinavia.

The 20 warmest years have all occurred since 1981. The world is the hottest it has been since the end of the last ice age and warmer than it has been since the dawn of the agricultural revolution.

According to a study that reconstructed global temperatures, we have not seen this level of heat in 11,300 years. The study further concluded that the biggest and most rapid change in the climate has occurred in the past century.

As carbon dioxide levels continue to increase we can expect more record breaking temperatures. This warming trend will continue as we debate the veracity of climate change and the need to do something about it.

Related
Record Breaking Heat Suggests Accelerated Warming
Interactive Map - Summer Heat in the US
Freak Weather: Alaska is Warmer than Alabama
James Hansen's 2012 Research Linking Global Warming and Extreme Weather
In the US 2012 is The Hottest Most Extreme Year in Recorded History
Globally 2012 is One of the Hottest Years on Record

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