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Climate bulletin - July 2016

HadCRUT4 - map of anomalies in July 2016

Summary of the world's climate in July 2016.

The global average temperature for July 2016 as estimated from the HadCRUT4 data set was 0.74 ± 0.19 °C above the 1961-1990 average. July was nominally the warmest July on record, although the uncertainty in the estimate is such that it is not clearly distinguishable from other warm Julys e.g. 2015, 1998, 2010. Other global temperature data sets maintained by NASA GISS and NOAA NCDC also show that July was a very warm month globally. Sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) in the tropical Pacific were close to average in July indicating neutral ENSO conditions (neither El Nino nor La Nina). 

During July, the global average air temperature over land was warmer than the long term average (1.04 ± 0.28 °C). Cooler than average land surface temperatures were recorded in parts of Canada, Central and northeast Asia, western Australia and Argentina. Unusually cold anomalies were recorded in very limited areas of south Eurasia and at the South Pole. Most land areas were warmer than the long-term average. Unusual warmth was widespread affecting Alaska and northern Canada, large areas of the Americas between 30N and 30S, parts of the Mediterranean, and Middle East, Mongolia, Southeast Asia, eastern Australia and parts of tropical Africa.

SSTs were generally warmer than average in July. The global mean SST was 0.67 ± 0.08C °C above the long term average. Unusually warm SSTs were widespread. An area covering the eastern Indian Ocean, and western tropical Pacific was much warmer than average along with the northern edge of the Pacific, the western North Atlantic (including the Gulf of Mexico), Labrador Sea, eastern Mediterranean, and the off-equatorial tropical Pacific. Unusually low SSTs were recorded along parts of the equatorial Pacific, the western Indian Ocean, an area off the southwest of Australia and in the western South Atlantic. An area of cooler than average SSTs south of Greenland has been a persistent feature since late 2014.

Based on data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, northern hemisphere (Arctic) sea ice extent was 8.13 million square kilometres. July 2016 was nominally the 3rd least extensive July on record (2011 and 2012 were lower). Southern hemisphere (Antarctic) sea ice extent was 16.5 million square kilometres. July 2016 was nominally the 19th least extensive July on record (in a 38-year record) and close to the long-term average (1981-2010 in this case).

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