June sizzles to 13th straight monthly heat record

by Admin
June sizzles to 13th straight monthly heat record

Earth’s more than year-long streak of record-shattering hot months kept on simmering through June, according to the European climate service Copernicus.

There’s hope that the planet will soon see an end to the record-setting part of the heat streak, but not the climate chaos that has come with it, scientists said.

The global temperature in June was record warm for the 13th straight month and it marked the 12th straight month that the world was 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than pre-industrial times, Copernicus said in an early Monday announcement.

“It’s a stark warning that we are getting closer to this very important limit set by the Paris Agreement,” Copernicus senior climate scientist Nicolas Julien said in an interview. “The global temperature continues to increase. It has at a rapid pace.”

That 1.5 degree temperature mark is important because that’s the warming limit nearly all the countries in the world agreed upon in the 2015 Paris climate agreement, though Julien and other meteorologists have said the threshold won’t be crossed until there’s long-term duration of the extended heat — as much as 20 or 30 years.

“This is more than a statistical oddity and it highlights a continuing shift in our climate,” Copernicus Director Carlo Buontempo said in a statement.

The globe for June 2024 averaged 16.66 degrees Celsius, which is 0.67 Celsius above the 30-year average for the month, according to Copernicus. It broke the record for hottest June, set a year earlier, 0.14 degrees Celsius, and is the third-hottest of any month recorded in Copernicus records, which goes back to 1940, behind only last July and last August.

It’s not that records are being broken monthly but they are being “shattered by very substantial margins over the past 13 months,” Julien said.

“How bad is this?” asked Texas A&M University climate scientist Andrew Dessler, who wasn’t part of the report. “For the rich and for right now, it’s an expensive inconvenience. For the poor it’s suffering. In the future the amount of wealth you have to have to merely be inconvenienced will increase until most people are suffering.”

Even without hitting the long-term 1.5-degree threshold, “we have seen the consequences of climate change, these extreme climate events,” Julien said — meaning worsening floods, storms, droughts and heat waves.

June’s heat hit extra hard in southeast Europe, Turkey, eastern Canada, the western United States and Mexico, Brazil, northern Siberia, the Middle East, northern Africa and western Antarctica, according to Copernicus. Doctors had to treat thousands of heatstroke victims in Pakistan last month as temperatures hit 47 degrees Celsius (117 F).

June was also the 15th straight month that the world’s oceans, more than two-thirds of Earth’s surface, have broken heat records, according to Copernicus data.

Most of this heat is from long-term warming from greenhouse gases emitted by the burning of coal, oil and natural gas, Julien and other meteorologists said. An overwhelming amount of the heat energy trapped by human-caused climate change goes directly into the ocean and those oceans take longer to warm and cool.

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