The first half of 2017 was the warmest in 138 years, according to a recent report published by US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The report also said that the past month was the third warmest June on record across the globe.
— WMO | OMM (@WMO) July 18, 2017
NOAA records between 1880 and 2017, 2016 was the warmest year on record of the agency. It was also the year in which the month of June saw the mercury rise to the highest point on the thermometer. In this regard, it was followed by 2015 and 2017 respectively. In fact, June 2017 was the 41st consecutive June and the 390th consecutive month with temperatures at least nominally above average.
The numbers have surprised the scientists as they were not expecting this year to be as warm as it has been. The strong El Niño that had caused 2016 to be uncharacteristically warm had died down in the beginning of this year.
The report also mentioned some other weather anomalies that were observed in June 2017. The sea ice coverage in the Arctic was found to be 7.5% below the average value since 1981. Meanwhile, the average sea ice coverage in the Antarctic was the second lowest on record at 6.3% below the average.
June 2017 was also the second warmest year on record in terms of sea surface temperature while the land surface temperature in the month was fourth warmest on record. It also became the warmest June for Africa, the second warmest (after 2007) for Europe and third warmest for South America.