2015 set to be hottest year on Earth on record — report

21 Jul 2015

June was the fourth month this year that set global heat records, with 2015 shaping up to be the hottest year on the planet yet.

Between January and June this year both the average land and sea surface temperature came in well over the 20th century average, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Last month stands out as the hottest on record for any June since 1880, breaking last year’s record by 0.12oC.

Record-breaking heat is “getting to be a monthly thing,” said Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist for the NOAA, to AP.

Climate change: only going one way?

“There is almost no way that 2015 isn’t going to be the warmest on record,” she added.

When you look at the heat map that NOAA provided with its findings, it’s perhaps surprising to see the Pacific Ocean raking in such heat, but there are other deep red spots dotted around the world, too..

Climate Change - June's hot spots in 2015

Ice ice baby

As for ice sheets, well, it’s complicated.

The average Arctic sea ice extent for June was 350,000 square miles, 7.7pc below the 1981–2010 average – that’s still almost 20pc up on 2010’s historic lows, though.

All the same, this was the third smallest June extent since records began in 1979, according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center using data from NOAA and NASA.

Yet the South Pole saw Antarctic ice measured at 7.2pc above the 1981-2010 average, the third largest on record.

June was uniformly warm across the globe, with heat waves in places like Spain, Austria, Asia, Australia and South America. Pakistan lost huge numbers of lives to a June heatwave.

An anomaly, though, was Scandinavia. Norway had a very cool June, with below-average temperatures across the region.

Climate Change - June anomalies


Both illustrations above are via NOAA’s ‘State of the Climate’ report and can be clicked to view in a larger format. Main image via Shutterstock.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic