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Saturday January 25th, 2020 6:08AM

The heat goes on: June toastiest on record, July may follow

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The heat goes on: Earth sizzled to its hottest June on record as the climate keeps going to extremes.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Thursday announced that June averaged 60.6 degrees (15.9 Celsius), about 1.7 degrees (0.9 Celsius) warmer than the 20th century average.

It beat out 2016 for the hottest June with records going back to 1880. NASA and other groups also concluded that last month was the hottest June on record.

Europe shattered June temperature records by far, while other records were set in Russia, Africa, Asia and South America. France had its hottest month in history, which is unusual because July is traditionally hotter than June. The Lower 48 states in America were near normal.

"Earth is running a fever that won't break thanks to climate change," North Carolina state climatologist Kathie Dello said in an email. "This won't be the last record warm summer month that we will see."

It seems likely that July too will be a record hot month, said Berkeley Earth climate scientist Robert Rohde.

The United States set a record for most precipitation. The 12-month period from July 2018 to June 2019 was the wettest on record.

The first half of 2019 is tied with 2017 for the second hottest initial six months of the year, behind 2016. So far the year is 1.7 degrees warmer than the 20th century average.

This heat "is what we can expect to see with a warming climate," said Freja Vamborg, a climate scientist at the Copernicus Climate Change Service in Europe.

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Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter: @borenbears

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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