The globally-averaged temperature for July 2012 marked the fourth warmest July since record keeping began in 1880. July 2012 also marks the 36th consecutive July and 329th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average.
Most areas of the world experienced much higher-than-average monthly temperatures, including most of the United States and Canada. Meanwhile, Australia, northern and western Europe, eastern Russia, Alaska, and southern South America were notably cooler than average. In the Arctic, sea ice extent averaged 3.1 million square miles, resulting in the second lowest July sea ice extent on record.
The equatorial Pacific Ocean continued to reflect neutral El Niño-Southern Ocean (ENSO) conditions in July. However, according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the El Niño warm ocean phase will likely develop between now and September. In addition to influencing seasonal climate outcomes in the United States, El Niño is often, but not always, associated with global temperatures that are above the average trend. >> More