WASHINGTON —Earth’s persistent record 2016 heat is now dancing near levels that a world agreement is trying to avoid, federal scientists said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday that globally , June was the 14th straight record hot month, with Earth averaging 61.52 degrees. That is 1.62 degrees warmer than average and a shade above the record set in 2015. The last month Earth wasn’t record hot was April 2015.

NOAA Tuesday also warned about excessive heat for much of the United States this week, especially at the end of the week, when parts of the East could be flirting with triple digit temperatures.

Scientists said records keep falling because of a combination of man-made global warming and the natural El Nino, a periodic warming of the Pacific that changes weather worldwide and heats the globe. But El Nino ended a couple months ago and the record heat – and record melting of Arctic sea ice – has stuck around.

What’s really got federal scientists’ attention is the record warm first half of 2016, which comes after two record hot years.

NOAA said the first half of 2016 was 0.36 degrees warmer than last year’s record.

NASA chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt said the first six months of the year were not just the warmest on record, by far, but 2.3 degrees warmer than the last two decades of the 19th century. But more importantly, he said 2016 so far is about 2.7 degrees warmer, or 1.5 degrees Celsius, than pre-industrial times.

That 1.5 degrees Celsius mark is key. A December 2015 international pact to control global warming set a goal of avoiding 1.5 degrees Celsius warming above pre-industrial levels.