Planet Earth suffered its seventh warmest July since record keeping began back in 1880, and July’s Arctic sea ice extent was the smallest on record since records began in 1979.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have released a series of highlights in partnership with its monthly analysis.
Global Temperature Highlights: July
- The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for July 2011 was the seventh warmest on record for that month at 61.43 F (16.37 C), which is 1.03 F (0.57 C) above the 20th century average of 60.4 F (15.8 C). The margin of error associated with this temperature is +/- 0.16 F (0.09 C).
- Separately, the global land surface temperature for July was 1.51 F (0.84 C) above the 20th century average of 57.8 F (14.3 C), making it the fifth warmest July on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.23 F (0.13 C). Warmer-than-average conditions occurred across Northern Europe, western and eastern Russia, and most of North America. Cooler-than-average regions included central Russia, Western Europe, much of the western United States, and southwestern Canada.
- The July global ocean surface temperature was 0.85 F (0.47 C) above the 20th century average of 61.5 F (16.4 C), making it the 11th warmest July on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.07 F (0.04 C). The warmth was most pronounced across Baffin Bay and the Labrador Sea in the Northern Hemisphere high latitudes and in the north central and northwestern Pacific Ocean.
- July 2011 temperatures were above normal for all states and territories in Australia for the first month since April 2010. La Niña conditions during 2010/11 kept temperatures below normal across most of the country for more than a year.
- The United Kingdom average monthly July temperature of 57.4 F (14.1 C) was the coolest July temperature since 2000 at 0.9 F (0.5 C) below the long-term average, which dates to 1910.The average minimum July temperature was the coolest for this month since 1980. Dublin Airport reported its coolest July in 46 years, with an average temperature of 56.8 F (13.8 C).
Global Temperature Highlights: Year to date
- The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January – July period was 0.92 F (0.51 C) above the 20th century average of 56.9 F (13.8 C), making it the 11th warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.16 F (0.09 C).
- The January – July worldwide land surface temperature was 1.40 F (0.78 C) above the 20th century average — the eighth warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.36 F (0.20 C). Warmer-than-average conditions were prevalent across most of Russia, the Middle East, northern Africa, Europe, the southern United States, and Mexico. Cooler-than-average regions prevailed over the northwestern United States, southwestern Canada, and most of Australia.
- The global ocean surface temperature for the year to date was 0.74 F (0.41 C) above the 20th century average and was the 11th warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/-0.07 F (0.04 C). The warmth was most pronounced across the Labrador Sea, most of the central and western Pacific, the equatorial Atlantic, and much of the mid-latitude southern oceans.
- Neither El Niño nor La Niña conditions were present during July 2011. According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, ENSO neutral conditions are expected to continue into the Northern Hemisphere fall 2011, with an equally likely chance of ENSO-neutral or La Niña conditions thereafter.
Polar Sea Ice and Precipitation Highlights
- The average Arctic sea ice extent during July was 21.6 percent below average, ranking as the smallest July extent since satellite records began in 1979. The extent was 81,000 square miles (210,000 square kilometers) below the previous July record low, set in 2007.
- The July 2011 Antarctic sea ice extent was 0.54 percent below average and was the 12th smallest July extent since records began in 1979.
- Seoul, South Korea received more than 11.8 inches (300 millimeters) of precipitation on July 27, the heaviest single-day rainfall in the city since 1907.