The first half of 2009 is tied with 2004 as the fifth warmest half-year on record for the world as a whole, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Combined land and ocean surface temperatures for January through June were 0.55 degrees Celsius above the 20th-century average, falling just 0.09 degrees below the record temperature recorded in 1998, when global temperatures were elevated by an El Niño event. But the outlook for the rest of the year is for more elevated global temperatures, as a new El Niño event began in June. The effects of that event are already evident, as global ocean surface temperatures in June set a new record, at 0.59 degrees above the 20th-century average.
Overall, June 2009 ranked as the second warmest June on record and the warmest ever in the Southern Hemisphere. But the United States was spared the heat, as the U.S. temperatures were only slightly above the 20th-century average.
Reprinted from EERE Network News, a free newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy.