June was world’s hottest on record, EU scientists say

July 7, 2023 - 1:00 PM
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A man carries a container filled with water during high temperatures in the Anapra neighbourhood in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, June 15, 2023. (Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez)

 Last month was the hottest June globally on record, with abnormally high temperatures recorded on both land and sea, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said on Thursday.

Last month smashed through the previous temperature record for the month of June – which was in 2019 – by a substantial margin, Copernicus said.

Globally, June was just over 0.5C above the average temperature for the same month in 1991-2020, Copernicus said, as climate change pushes global temperatures to new records and short-term weather patterns also drive temperature movements.

Above-average temperatures swept through countries including India, Iran, Canada, while extreme heat in Mexico last month caused more than 100 deaths and Beijing recorded its hottest June day.

Scientists have said climate change combined with the emergence this year of the El Nino weather pattern, which warms the surface waters in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean, have fuelled recent record-breaking temperatures.

“This record is no surprise and a testament of climate change progressing at a worrying pace,” said Joeri Rogelj, a professor of climate science at Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute.

“As the amplifying El Nino phenomenon develops further over the coming months, it is not unexpected to see more global temperature records broken,” he said.

On Tuesday the world recorded its hottest day on record, surpassing a record set just a day before on Monday, according to Copernicus data, as North Africa, China and other regions sizzle under heatwaves.

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Global sea temperature also rose to a new record for the month of June, with extreme marine heatwaves recorded around Ireland, the United Kingdom and the Baltic Sea, Copernicus said. The body’s analysis is based on billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations.

Antarctic sea ice fell in June to its lowest extent for the month in the satellite record, at 17% below average, Copernicus said.

—Reporting by Julia Payne, Kate AbnettEditing by Toby Chopra and Ros Russell