June Climate Report: Ho-Hum, Another Record Warm Month. Yawn.


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June temperature departures from the 20th century average. Red is warmer than average. Courtesy of NOAA

June temperature departures from the 20th century average. Red is warmer than average. Courtesy of NOAA

On June 21, The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) released its monthly assessment of global land and sea temperatures for June.

It’s only the 38th consecutive June and 352nd consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th century average.

Is anybody paying attention? Or is the increasing warmth just so routine and so incremental that everyone thinks we can wait for the next report?

Has ‘New High Temperature Record’ Lost Its Meaning?

Though the apocryphal story of the boiling frog has been discredited, there are metaphorical messages that may be applicable to humanity’s reaction to global warming.

Allegedly, if you placed a frog in tepid water and slowly raised the temperature, he would sit there and eventually cook. Now it is known that at some point the frog ‘gets it’ and jumps out of the pot.

But the story is applicable to humanity in many situations in which people cover their eyes and ears, and don’t jump until it is too late. In reading the climate and carbon dioxide data month after month, one can get the feeling of being in the frog’s place as the water slowly warms.

So How Warm Was It In June?

The combined water and air temperature for June was the highest it has ever been for that month — 61.2°F — 1.30°F above the 20th century average. As has been the trend recently, the water is carrying the load, outpacing past records, while the air temperatures move haltingly higher.

The Seawater Temperature Anomaly In The Gulf Of Alaska

In looking at the global temperature departures from average, one thing that sticks out is the very warm pocket of water over the northeast Pacific Ocean. Decoded Science has repeatedly pointed to this as a contributing factor in the drought in California and the cold weather in the central US.

Last winter the cold was accompanied by near record-breaking snow and ice, and this summer there has been serious flooding.

Highlights Of The June Temperature Report:

  • The June ocean temperature was not only the highest for June, but the 1.15°F departure from the twentieth century average was the greatest departure for any month — ever.
  • On June 15, Kangerlussuaq, Greenland recorded its highest June temperature ever, 73.8°F.
  • New Zealand recorded its warmest June in the 105 years of observations. The warmth was uniform from the north to south of the country, which spans over ten degrees of latitude.

June Precipitation:

  • Precipitation was above normal in the midwestern United States and southeastern Europe.
  • Drought conditions existed in western Australia, the western United States, and southern Africa.
  • The onset of the Indian monsoon was about a week late, which resulted in below average rainfall for the month over all of India and Bangladesh.

Temperatures For January Through June Of 2014

The first half of 2014, after a near-normal start, tied for the third warmest first half of any year. With back-to-back record warm months in May and June, 2014 is shaping up as one of the warmest on record. If the expected El Niño occurs in the late summer, 2014 is likely to break all the records.

There are indications that the warming of the Arctic regions is underrepresented in the current calculations. Heat can also be stored in the deep oceans. The actual warming of the entire earth could be greater than what is reported.

When Is It Time To Jump?

Man, with his mobility and climate-controlled buildings, may not notice the water getting hotter as readily as the frog. Or he might not care that it’s happening quite as much as the frog. But there will be a time to jump.

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