Last month was the Earth’s warmest June since records began in 1880, according to data released Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
It marked the second-straight month the world set a warm-temperature record.
The average temperature over global surfaces for June 2014 was 1.3 degrees above the 20th-century average of 59.9 degrees. In May, the Earth’s temperature was 1.33 degrees above the average of 58.6 degrees.
“The warmth was fueled by record warm ocean temperatures,” said Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist with NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. Large parts of the Pacific Ocean and most of the Indian Ocean hit record-high temperatures or were much warmer than average for the month.
The developing El Niño — a warming of tropical Pacific Ocean water — was a main contributor to the heat in June, she said.
Most of the world’s land areas saw warmer-than-average monthly temperatures, with record warmth measured across part of southeastern Greenland, parts of northern South America, areas in eastern and central Africa, and sections of southern and southeastern Asia.
Every continent except Antarctica set temperature records. Overall, the Earth’s land areas in June were the seventh-warmest on record.
June marked the 352nd consecutive month that the global temperature was above average, NOAA reported.
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Only a few areas in North America, eastern Russia and parts of Europe were cooler or much cooler than average.
So far this year, 2014 is tied with 2002 as the third-warmest year on record, with a global temperature about 1.21 degrees above average.
“Since the beginning of 2014, every month except February has been among the four warmest,” Blunden added.
The U.S. was warm in June, but not dramatically so, as it experienced only the 33rd-warmest June on record, NOAA reported.
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