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Warmest June on Record for Global Ocean Surface Temperature
ASHEVILLE, North Carolina, July 21, 2009 (ENS) - The world's ocean surface temperature in June rose to its warmest since 1880, breaking the previous high mark set in 2005, according to a preliminary analysis by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville.

The combined average global land and ocean surface temperature for June was second-warmest since global recordkeeping began.

The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for June 2009 was the second warmest on record, behind 2005, 1.12 degrees Fahrenheit (0.62 degree C) above the 20th century average of 59.9 degrees F (15.5 degrees C).

Separately, the global ocean surface temperature for June 2009 was the warmest on record, 1.06 degrees Fahrenheit (0.59 degree C) above the 20th century average of 61.5 degrees F (16.4 degrees C).

The global land surface temperature for June 2009 was 1.26 degrees Fahrenheit (0.70 degree C) above the 20th century average of 55.9 degrees F (13.3 degrees C), and ranked as the sixth-warmest June on record.

Global ocean temperatures are rising, data shows. (Photo courtesy NASA)

The Pacific Ocean warming pattern known as El Niņo is back after six straight months of increased sea-surface temperature anomalies. June sea surface temperatures in the region were more than 0.9 degree Fahrenheit (0.5 degree C) above average.

On land, increased warmth was most notable in Africa, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Considerable warmth also occurred in Siberia and in the lands around the Black and Mediterranean Seas.

Cooler than average land locations in June were the U.S. Northern Plains, the Canadian Prairie Provinces, and central Asia.

Arctic sea ice covered an average of 4.4 million square miles during June, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. This is 5.6 percent below the 1979-2000 average extent.

By contrast, the 2007 record for the least Arctic sea ice extent was 5.5 percent below average.

Antarctic sea ice extent in June was 3.9 percent above the 1979-2000 average.

In June, heavy rain fell over central Europe, triggering mudslides and floods. Thirteen fatalities were reported. According to reports, this was central Europe's worst natural disaster since the 2002 floods that claimed 17 lives and caused nearly $3 billion in damages.

Climatologists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City measured 2008 as the ninth warmest year since continuous instrumental records were started in 1880. The 10 warmest years on record have all occurred between 1997 and 2008.

The latest assessment report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that climate scientists link global warming to the emission of greenhouse gases emitted by cars, factories and power generation, as well as cutting down or burning forests.

Copyright Environment News Service, ENS, 2009. All rights reserved.

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