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Climate: Global July temps the 4th-highest ever

Cooler than average readings reported from Australia, South America

Red areas mark above-average temperatures, with blue designating areas that were cooler than average in July.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Already on record as the hottest month of all time in the U.S., July 2012 will now go into the books globally as the fourth-warmest on record.

According to the global temperature analysis released today by the National Climatic Data Center, the average combined land and sea surface temperature for July was 1.12 degrees above the 20th century average. The land surface temperatures alone was the third-warmest on record at 1.66 degrees above the 20th century average.

Last month marked the 36th consecutive July with above-average temperatures and the 329th consecutive month overall with higher-than-average readings. According to the NCDC, the last time July global temps were below average was in 1976.

The warmest temps were reported from southeastern Europe, Canada and the U.S. Much cooler than average temperatures continued in Australia, northern and western Europe, eastern Russia, Alaska, and southern South America.

Even in a transition phase between a cooling La Niña and an emerging El Niño, global ocean temperatures were well above normal, with the highest monthly departure from average since July 2010.

For the year to-date, the combined average land and sea surface temperature is the 10th-warmest on record.

Information compiled from the NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for July 2012, published online August 2012, retrieved on August 15, 2012 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2012/7.

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