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FEATURE

The Planet Has a Fever





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Have you felt it? The sweltering summer that has strained the grid? The floods and tornadoes and the hail? The increased humidity where it was a dry heat? The dry heat where it was moist?

The planet has a fever. That's not supposition. The National Climactic Data Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has recorded year-to-date combined global and and surface temperatures that are the warmest on record.

• The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for April-June 2010 was 1.26°F (0.70°C) above the 20th century average—the warmest April-June period on record.

• For the year-to-date, the global combined land and ocean surface temperature of 57.5°F (14.2°C) was the warmest January-June period. This value is 1.22°F (0.68°C) above the 20th century average.

• June 2010 was the fourth consecutive warmest month on record (March, April, and May 2010 were also the warmest on record). This was the 304th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last month with below-average temperature was February 1985.

• It was the warmest June and April–June on record for the Northern Hemisphere as a whole and all land areas of the Northern Hemisphere.

• Arctic sea ice continued its annual decline, typically reaching a September minimum. Similar to May 2010, the Arctic sea ice continued to decline at a record rapid rate—the fastest measured for June (more than 50 percent greater than average).  Continued...

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