Warmest Year-to-Date Global Temperature on Record

The combined global land and ocean surface temperature made this July the second warmest on record, behind 1998, and the warmest averaged January-July on record. The global average land surface temperature for July and January-July was warmest on record. The global ocean surface temperature for July was the fifth warmest, and for January-July 2010 was the second warmest on record, behind 1998.
The global average land surface temperature for July and January-July was warmest on record. (Credit: NOAA)
The monthly analysis from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, which is based on records going back to 1880, is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides government, business and community leaders so they can make informed decisions.

Global Temperature Highlights 

  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for July 2010 was the second warmest on record at 61.6°F (16.5°C), which is 1.19°F (0.66°C) above the 20th century average of 60.4°F (15.8°C). The averaged temperature for July 1998 was 61.7°F (16.5°C). 

  • The July worldwide land surface temperature was 1.85°F (1.03°C) above the 20th century average of 57.8°F (14.3°C) -- the warmest July on record. Warmer-than-average conditions dominated land areas of the globe. The most prominent warmth was in Europe, western Russia and eastern Asia. Cooler-than-average regions included central Russia, Alaska and southern South America.

  • According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finland set a new all-time maximum temperature on July 29 when temperatures soared to 99.0°F (37.2°C), surpassing the previous record set in July 1914 by 2.3°F (1.3°C).

  • Western Russia was engulfed by a severe heat wave during much of July. On July 30, Moscow set a new all-time temperature record when temperatures reached 102°F (39°C), exceeding the previous record of 99.0°F (37.2°C) set four days earlier. Before 2010, the highest maximum temperature recorded in Moscow was 98.2°F (36.8°C), set nine decades ago.

  • According to the Beijing Climate Center, the July 2010 average temperature across China was 73.0°F (22.8°C), which is 2.5°F (1.4°C) above the 1971-2000 average and the warmest July since 1961.

  • The worldwide ocean surface temperature was 0.97°F (0.54°C) above the 20th century average of 61.5°F (16.4°C) and the fifth warmest July on record. The warmth was most pronounced in the Atlantic Ocean.

  • La Niña conditions developed during July 2010, as sea surface temperatures (SST) continued to drop across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, La Niña is expected to strengthen and last through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2010-2011.

  • For the year-to-date, the global combined land and ocean surface temperature of 58.1°F (14.5°C) was the warmest January-July period on record. This value is 1.22°F (0.68°C) above the 20th century average.

    Polar Sea Ice and Precipitation Highlights

    • Arctic sea ice covered an average of 3.2 million square miles (8.4 million square kilometers) during July. This is 16.9 percent below the 1979-2000 average extent and the second lowest July extent since records began in 1979. The record low July was set in 2007. This was the 14th consecutive July with below-average Arctic sea ice extent. July 1996 was the last year that had above-average sea ice extent.

    • Antarctic sea ice extent in July was above average, 4.8 percent above the 1979-2000 average -- resulting in the largest July sea ice extent on record.

    • According to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology, the continent received an average of 34.4 mm (1.35 inches) of precipitation during July 2010 -- this is 55 percent above the 1961-1990 average and the highest value since 1998.

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