It’s official: June of 2016 broke yet another global temperature record, coming in as the hottest June on record since global temperatures were first recorded in 1880, beating the previous record-holder’s departure from the norm, June 2015, by 0.02ºC (0.04ºF). This also marks the 14th consecutive record-breaking month, with global temperatures being 0.90ºC (1.62ºF) above the 20th century average.
This string of consecutive above-average months is not expected to continue forever, according to Deke Arndt, head of NOAA’s national Centers for Environmental Information climate monitoring division, but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods in regards to the long-term warming trend.
"It’s important to keep perspective here. Even if we aren’t setting records, we are in a neighborhood beyond anything we had seen before early 2015," explains Arndt. "We’ve left the 20th century far behind. This is a big deal."
The current heat wave being experienced in the Middle East has produced another temperature record of its own. The country of Kuwait hit a record-high on July 10, of 54ºC (129.3ºF), considered to be the highest known recorded temperature for the Eastern Hemisphere. This may also be a planet-wide record: the standing record is 56.7ºC (134.1ºF), recorded in Death Valley’s Furnace Creek Ranch on July 10, 1913, but this record is controversial, with critics saying that the equipment of the time was not as reliable as modern devices.