2016 Record-Setting for Heat; 2017 to Be Cooler

Perhaps not surprisingly, 2016 is set to break the records set first in 2014, then 2015, for the highest average global surface temperature on record as both NASA and NOAA reveal June 2016 to continue the 14-month-long stretch of record-setting high temperatures.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its latest analysis of global temperatures on July 19, 2016 with findings In addition to the 14 consecutive months of record global heat included:

  • The global average temperature for June 2016 was 1.62 degrees F higher than the 20th century average, exceeding June 2015 previous record by 0.4 degrees F.
  • The 2016 year-to-date average global temperature exceeded the 20th century average by 1.89 degrees F.
  • In addition to record combined temperature averages for land and sea, sea surface average temperatures for June 2016 set a record,and for 2016 year-to-date.
  • Land temperatures for June 2016, when globally averaged, tied previous high records for the month, making June 2016 the 34th consecutive June to be above the average 20th century temperature. Average global land temperatures for January 2016 through June 2016 set a record also when compared to the records NOAA has been keeping since 1880.

April 2016 Average Global Temperatures: Record-Setting Temperatures Globally for April 2016

May 2016 Average Global Temperatures: NOAA Reports May 2016 Continued Trend of “Warmest Month on Record”

Regional/Geographic June 2016 Weather Events

  • Africa, which experienced widespread warmer-than-average conditions, experienced the second warmest June on record since record-keeping for the continent began in 1910.
  • North America experienced its warmest June on record since continental record-keeping began in 1910.
  • South America, while experiencing hotter-than-average conditions in the northern part of the continent also experienced cooler-than-average conditions in the southern portion resulted in the coolest June recorded for the continent since 2008.
  • Asia experienced its fifth-highest temperature departure from average for the month of June since record-keeping for that continent began in 1910.
  • Of particular interest to climatologists are the extents of the ice caps in the Arctic and Antarctica. For June 2016, the Arctic ice cap was more than 11 percent below the 1981 to 2010 average, and the smallest extent for that ice cap since record-keeping began in 1979. In the same time period, Antarctica’s sea ice averaged 40,000 square miles below the 1981 to 2010 average.

Scientists credit the effects of El Nino to have been about 40 percent responsible for the higher-than-average temperatures that have been experienced globally in 2016, according to Gavin Schmidt of NASA, who credits the other 60 percent responsibility for the high temperatures to be an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Climatologists are predicting El Nino will be replaced by La Nina in October 2016, a climatology event that is the opposite of that of El Nino.

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