Global temperature records continued to tumble in June, as the strengthening El Nino in the Pacific combined with background warming from climate change.
Land and sea-surface temperatures last month and for the first half of 2015 were the warmest in 136 years of records, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Monday.
For the first half of 2015 alone, those surface temperatures were 0.85 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average, beating the previous record set in 2010 by 0.09 of a degree.
The record temperatures come as nations prepare for a global climate summit in Paris in late 2015. Australia is one of the few developed countries to have declared its post-2020 targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say is contributing to the record planetary warmth.
As NOAA noted, the previous record came at a point when the El Nino had finished in 2010. This year, however, the El Nino has barely begun and there is an 80 per cent chance that the event will last beyond March 2016, or the start of the northern spring, the agency said.
Last year was the hottest on record and 2015 is well on course to be warmer still. Since the impact of El Ninos on surface temperatures - typically giving them a 0.1-0.2 kick higher - is more pronounced at the end of the event, 2016 is also a fair chance to set the bar higher again.
El Ninos involve large areas of the central and eastern Pacific warming relative to western regions as trade winds stall or reverse. One result is that the world's biggest ocean becomes less of a heat sink than in a neutral year and can even give back warmth....
Source:Ben Cubby @bencubby
See also here @NCDC NOAA