In keeping with Earth’s warming trend this year, June 2021 placed as fifth-warmest June in the 142-year global climate record.
The year-to-date (through June) average global temperature ranked eighth highest on record, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
Here’s a closer look into NOAA’s latest monthly global climate report:
Climate by the numbers
The average global surface (land and ocean) temperature in June was 1.58 degrees F (0.88 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average of 59.9 degrees F (15.5 degrees C), making June the fifth warmest in the climate record.
Looking at just global land temperatures, June 2021 was 2.56 degrees F (1.42 degrees C) above average and the highest June land-only surface temperature on record — besting the record set in June 2019. This was chiefly influenced by very warm land temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere, which saw its highest June land temperatures on record.
The year to date | January through June
The first half of 2021 ranked eighth warmest on record, with a global temperature of 1.42 degrees F (0.79 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average of 56.3 degrees F (13.5 degrees C).
Africa had its third-warmest YTD on record — only the same period for 2010 and 2016 were warmer. Asia had its eighth-warmest YTD; South America had its 10th warmest (a tie with 2013); and North America had its 11th warmest (a tie with 1999).
Other notable climate stats and facts for June
- Some continents saw record heat: North America had its hottest June on record, due in part to an unprecedented heat wave across areas of the U.S. and Canada. Africa also saw its hottest June on record, surpassing June 2020. Europe’s June temperature was the second highest on record while across Asia, June 2021 tied June 2010 for second warmest.
- Arctic sea ice shrank: Sea ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean averaged 4.14 million square miles in June 2021, which is 405,000 square miles below the 1981-2010 average. This was the sixth-smallest June ice extent in the Arctic’s 43-year climate history, according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Centeroffsite link.
- Earth’s tropical zones were busy: Globally, there were nine tropical cyclones in June, which is one storm short of tying the record set in 1997 and 2018. The Atlantic had four named storms on the books by the end of June, tying 2021 with 2012, 2016, and 2020 for the year with the most named storms in the first six months (January through June).