July 17, 2010 – Original Source: Sky News
The first six months of this year have been the hottest in recorded history, weather experts have said.
And the average global land and ocean surface temperature for June 2010 was 16.2C, the new report said.
This is 0.68C above the 20th Century average of 15.5C, climate scientists confirmed.
The figures were released by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which has recorded climate data since 1880.
The figures have been released after a heatwave in the UK and soaring temperatures have put large parts of Europe, from Italy to Russia, on alert.
The scientists said that while rising mercury has been typical across the globe in recent months, the most prominent high temperatures have been seen in Peru, the central and eastern parts of the US and western Asia.
But while warmer than average temperatures were recorded across Asia, the US and Peru, it has been cooler than usual in southern China, Scandinavia and the northwestern US.
The report was published as the US Senate prepares to debate a climate and clean energy bill later this month.
Environmental organisation World Wildlife Fund said the record “underscores the urgency of passing a climate bill that limits the fossil fuel pollution that is causing Earth’s climate to change in dangerous and costly ways”.
Lou Leonard, director of US climate policy for WWF said: “Climate change is not some abstract phenomenon that will affect us sometime in the distant future.
“It is happening now and its impacts are being felt across the country in the form of record-shattering heatwaves, flooding rains, persistent droughts and other extreme weather events.
“The changes we are already experiencing are not just causing uncomfortable living conditions for Americans.
“They are threatening human health, destroying our natural heritage, jeopardising our agriculture industry and putting our economy and national security at risk.”