Global ocean temperatures rose to the warmest on record, according to data released last week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The combined average global land and ocean surface temperature for June was second-warmest since global recording-keeping began in 1880.
NOAA reports that both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres experienced record sea surface temperatures in June. Temepratures in the Northern Hemisphere were 1.17°F (0.65°C) above normal, exceeding the 2005 record by 0.05°C or 4.5 percent; while the Northern Hemisphere’s increase of 0.99°F (0.55°C) exceeded the 1998 record of 0.92°F (0.51°C) or 7.6 percent.
Current Operational SST Anomaly Charts for July 20, 2009. NOAA/NESDIS/OSDPD
Worldwide sea surface temperatures were 62.56°F (16.99°C), or 1.06 degrees F (0.59°C) above the 20th century average of 61.5°F (16.4°C).
The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for June 2009 was the second warmest on record after 2005, 1.12°F (0.62°C) above the 20th century average of 59.9°F (15.5°C). The global land surface temperature for June 2009 was 1.26°F (0.70°C) above the 20th century average of 55.9°F (13.3°C), ranking as the sixth-warmest June on record
NOAA also reported a return of el Niño, raising the prospect of dryness—and risk of forest fires—in Southeast Asia.