The first half of 2010 was the hottest on record, according to federal data released yesterday. From January to June, the average global temperature was 57.5 degrees F, which is 1.22 degrees above the 20th-century average and higher than 1998’s first-half record. We’ve also already had the most record-temperature months ever seen in the same calendar year, again surpassing 1998, MSNBC reports. The records date back to 1880.
“Each of the 10 warmest average global temperatures recorded since 1880 have occurred in the last fifteen years,” the National Climatic Data Center noted in its report. At this rate, 2010 could easily break 2005’s record for warmest full year. The center also noted that the area covered by Arctic sea ice was 10.6% below the 1979-2000 average in June, though Anatarctic sea ice was actually a record 8.3% above average. (Read more global warming stories.)