Friday 24 October 2014

Globe's hot streak - World breaks heat record again

Published 21/07/2014 | 20:25

People sunbathe on the beach of Wannsee near to Berlin. Temperatures in Germany rose to over 30 degrees Celsius over the weekend. Photo credit: REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
People sunbathe on the beach of Wannsee near to Berlin. Temperatures in Germany rose to over 30 degrees Celsius over the weekend. Photo credit: REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

The globe is on a hot streak, setting a heat record last month for the second month in a row.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last month's average global temperature was 61.2F (16.2C), which is 1.3F higher than the 20th century average. It beat 2010's old record by one-twentieth of a degree.

While a twentieth does not sound like much, in temperature records it is like winning a horse race by several lengths, said NOAA climate monitoring chief Derek Arndt.

And that's only part of it. The world's oceans not only broke a monthly heat record at 62.7F (17C), but it was the hottest the oceans have been for any month, Mr Arndt said.

He added that the June and May records were driven by unusually hot seas, especially the Pacific and Indian oceans.

Heat records in June broke on every continent but Antarctica, especially in New Zealand, northern South America, Greenland, central Africa and southern Asia.

The United States had only its 33rd hottest June.

All 12 of the world's monthly heat records have been set after 1997, more than half in the last decade. All the global cold monthly records were set before 1917.

With a likely El Nino this year - the warming of the tropical Pacific which influences the world's weather and increases global temperatures - it is starting to look like another extra warm year, said University of Arizona climate scientist Jonathan Overpeck.

The first six months of this year were the third warmest on record, coming behind 2010 and 1998, according to NOAA

Global temperature records go back to 1880 and this is the 352nd hotter-than-average month in a row.

"This is what global warming looks like," Mr Overpeck said. "Not record hot everywhere all the time, but certainly a reflection that the odds of record hot are going up everywhere around the planet."

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