Following this year’s trend of record-breaking high temperatures, June 2015 was really, really ridiculously warm – at least according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Those of you who can’t shake that lingering feeling of deja vu, fear not. Planet Experts has indeed tread these waters before. June 2014 also broke global temperature records. It’s just that June 2015 was even hotter.
According to NOAA’s most recent global temperature analysis, the combined average temperature over both land and sea for June 2015 “was the highest for June in the 136-year period of record, at 0.88°C (1.58°F) above the 20th century average of 15.5°C (59.9°F), surpassing the previous record set just one year ago by 0.12°C (0.22°F).”
What’s more, this marks the fourth highest monthly departure from average for any month on record. The two highest monthly departures occurred just a few months ago, in February and March, both nearly 1°C above the 20th century average for their respective months.
Why is it getting so hot? Well, it depends who you ask. If you ask Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, it’s not. Not at all. Of course, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe has also received nearly $1.8 million in campaign funding from the fossil fuel industry. If you ask Florida Governor Rick Scott…well, actually, you can’t ask Florida Governor Rick Scott, because the Governor has allegedly banned government officials from using the terms “global warming” or “climate change” (though not “sea level rise,” because that would be ridiculous).
But if you ask 97.1 percent of climate scientists, they will tell you it’s because the human race has been pumping carbon and methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for more than a century, and those gases are trapping the heat from the sun and causing unprecedented phenomena, such as melting ice sheets, warming ocean waters and species extinction.
“This is what anthropogenic global warming looks like,” Jonathan Overpeck, co-director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona, told the AP, “just hotter and hotter.”
The planet has not experienced a record cold temperature since 1916. Meanwhile, heat records are now being made and broken on a monthly basis.
“The globe is warmer now than it has been in the last 100 years and more likely in at least 5,000 years,” climate scientist Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University told AP back in January. “Any wisps of doubt that human activities are at fault are now gone with the wind.”
According to NOAA’s Jessica Blunden, if this year’s el niño gets stronger, heat records are “just going to go off the charts.”
As predicted, the first six months of 2015 have already put the planet on track to suffer through its warmest year on record. February, March, May and June of this year have all been the warmest they’ve ever been, with January at its second warmest and April at its third. NOAA has confirmed that the period July 2014-June 2015 is the warmest 12-month period ever in recorded human history.
The 10 warmest 12-month periods have all occurred in the last 10 months.