By Ben Geman - 07/16/12 04:12 PM EDT
“Only Australia, northern and western Europe, and the northwestern United States were notably cooler than average. In the Arctic, record June sea ice loss occurred, resulting in the second lowest June sea ice extent on record,” states NOAA, which is part of the Commerce Department.
The combined average global land and ocean surface temperatures in June were 61.03 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 1.13 degrees above the 20th century average, NOAA said.
Looking at the first six months of 2012, NOAA reports that the January-June stretch was the 11th-warmest first half of any year on record.