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First half of 2017 ranks 2nd hottest globally, behind 2016

By on July 19, 2017

By Seth Borenstein

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The first half of 2017 was the second warmest on record for Earth, only behind last year.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday Earth’s average temperature from January to June was 57.9 degrees (14.4 degrees Celsius). That’s 1.6 degrees warmer than the 20th century average.

Natural El Niños spike global temperatures. But NOAA climate scientist Ahira Sánchez-Lugo says it is remarkable that 2017 without an El Niño so far beats all but the super El Niño year of 2016.

She says that’s the world changing into an ever-warming climate.

Record warmth was measured in much of Mexico, western Europe, eastern Russia, eastern Africa and eastern China. The U.S. had its second warmest start.

Globally, June was the third warmest on record. Records go back to 1880.

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