World Records Fourth-Warmest June Since 1880, U.S. Agency Says

The month of June globally was the fourth-warmest on record since 1880 and the 328th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th-century average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

The combined average temperature for land and sea worldwide was 61.03 Fahrenheit (16.13 Celsius), or 1.13 degrees above the average for the 20th century, according to the U.S. agency.

Land temperatures were the all-time warmest, averaging 1.93 degree above the 132-year record.

“Most areas of the world experienced much higher-than-average monthly temperatures, including most of North America and Eurasia and northern Africa,” NOAA said in a statement. “Only Australia, northern and western Europe and the northwestern U.S. were notably cooler than average.”

Rising temperatures may affect food and energy supplies and markets. A warmer-than-average U.S. winter contributed to lower natural gas prices, and a current heat wave and drought in the Midwest has cut corn harvest projections and driven up prices.

Vienna, Austria, reached 99.9 degrees June 30, the highest temperature for the month on record in that country, according to NOAA. The month in the U.K. was 0.5 degree below the long-term average, making it the fourth-coolest June since 1991.

NOAA said last week the 48 contiguous U.S. states had the warmest start to any year on records dating back to 1895.

U.S. Heat

The national temperature in the lower 48 was 52.9 degrees from January to June, or 4.5 above average, according to the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina. The 12 months from July 2011 to June were also the warmest on record.

Global land temperatures for the first half of 2012 were 1.57 degrees above the 20th-century average and ranked sixth warmest overall, NOAA said today.

The Arctic lost 1.1 million square miles of sea ice, the largest loss in any June. Ice coverage at the North Pole is now 9.8 percent below average and this year ranks second behind 2010 for the least amount, according to NOAA.

In the Antarctic, sea ice was 2.5 percent above average and ranked as the 10th largest in the 34-year record, according to NOAA. It is currently winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

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