Average global temperatures reach new heights

According to data released by a US government agency, average global temperatures for June this year were the highest for that month since records began in 1880.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) figures show that the combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for June 2010 was 16.2°C - well above the 20th century average of 15.5°C. This trend followed in the footsteps of March, April and May, which also recorded their warmest ever temperatures this year. The June figure continued another trend by being the 304th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last month with below average temperatures was February 1985.

The first half of this year has seen the warmest average January-June and April-June periods on record.