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Scorchio! This June was the sixty-sixth hottest on record

Surpassed only by 1910, 1911, 1913, 1915 and, um, majority of other years, actually

Opinion The press is full of reports that Planet Earth is undergoing it's hottest year ever - that the first half of 2015 is the hottest first half yet seen, according to the NOAA among others. Is it true?

In fact the contiguous US saw the tenth hottest first half of a year since 1880, when the NOAA database begins. Only such recent, baking years as 1921 and 1934 have had hotter first halves. The month of June itself was the second hottest on record, surpassed only by June 1933.

The story's little different here in the UK, where the roasting June of 2015 was the sixty-sixth hottest since records began in 1910, meaning - amazingly - that actually most Junes have been hotter. Including June 1910 actually. And 1911, and 1913, 1914 and 1915. But not 1912! June 1912 was cooler than June 2015. And the spring overall was the, um, thirty-fifth hottest. In the upper half of the rankings!

Land temperatures in countries like the US and UK with lots of proper recording stations are comparatively reliable, so well worth looking at - especially as these are the places that people actually live and work (unlike, for instance, the middle of the Pacific ocean).

The NOAA adds that in its estimation the planet as a whole - this including huge areas of sea and land temperatures which were not measured in 1880 or for some time after, and a lot which still aren't - has had its warmest first-half since, um, "records began" in 1880.

But not many people will be taking NOAA global surface temperature "records" very seriously any more, since they were recently massively amended to make the long-ago past "records" colder and the recent past and present "records" hotter.

The "very large changes that have been made to the NOAA data set" this year have seriously damaged its credibility. ®

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