World Breaks Temperature Record as Climate Summit Nears

A Brief History of Global Warming

Earth warmed to a record in the first half of the year, putting new pressure on nations from the U.S. to China to try to curb climate change at a United Nations summit in Paris this December.

Global land and sea surface temperatures from January through June were 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, the highest since recordings started in 1880, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a report. The previous record was in 2010.

There was “record warmth across the western United States, parts of northern South America, several regions in central to western Africa, central Asia around and to the east of the Caspian Sea and parts of southeastern Asia,” the NOAA said.

It’s the latest evidence of changing weather that includes rising seas from melting glaciers and more intense storms that put island nations and waterfront cities at risk. The new data comes as negotiators from about 190 nations work on the first worldwide deal ahead of the UN summit to rein in greenhouse gases. With record emissions from fossil fuels, global temperatures are set to warm 3.6 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, the fastest shift in 10,000 years.

June was the fourth month this year to break its monthly temperature record, along with February, March and May. It’s brought drought to the Caribbean as well as torrential floods to Georgia that killed 19 and destroyed the zoo in Tbilisi, setting animals loose on the streets of the capital.

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