You may recall that the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) reported last month that March-May was the hottest in more than 120 years of record-keeping. Well, the JMA reported Monday that last month was the hottest June in more than 120 years of record-keeping.

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That makes 3 straight record-breaking months for JMA — the hottest second quarter on record. It also means we had the hottest March-June on record.

And these records occurred despite the fact we’re still waiting for the start of El Niño. It is usually the combination of the underlying long-term warming trend and the regional El Niño warming pattern that leads to new global temperature records.

The JMA is a World Meteorological Organization Regional Climate Center of excellence. NASA reported this week fairly similar observations. In the NASA dataset, last month was the third warmest June on record — and the second quarter of 2010 just edged out the second quarter of this year for hottest on record.

It seems all but certain more records will be broken in the coming months, as global warming combines with an emerging El Niño — whose chance of forming NOAA puts at “about 70% during the Northern Hemisphere summer” and “close to 80% during the fall and early winter.”

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