NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft image showing the Sun being partially blocked by Earth (Photo : Reuters)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that 2012 hosted the third warmest summer in history, according to records that span all the way back to 1880. The study notes that the combined global land and ocean surface temperature for June-August 2012 was 0.64°C (1.15°F), as opposed to the 15.6°C (60.1°F) 20th century average. The land surfaced temperature for this summer also went on record as the all-time warmest.
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The study states that "The last below-average August temperature was August 1976 and the last below-average temperature for any month was February 1985."
The climate data center asserts that droughts in India, eastern Russia, and the USA added to the heat, depriving the atmosphere of the moisture needed to cool worldwide temperatures. El Nino, the warming of oceanic water, also greatly contributed to this summer's record highs, says the NOAA.
The "globally-averaged land surface temperature for August 2012 was the second warmest Auguest on record, at 0.90°C (1.62°F) above average, while the globally-averaged ocean surface temperature was the fifth warmest on record, at 0.52°C (0.94°F) above average."
In terms of global land and ocean surface temperature, August 2012 ranked in at 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F), solidifying its rank as the fourth warmest August since 1880.
In other highlights, "the worldwide-average land surface temperature for June-August 2012 was the all-time warmest June-August on record, at 1.03°C (1.85°F) above average."
For a more detailed analysis, be sure to read the original report here.