Last Month Was the Hottest June Ever Recorded, European Satellite Data Shows

Photo: AP

The planetary heat bender we’re on just hit a new milestone. Fueled by relentless heat in Europe to end the month, this June was the hottest June ever recorded, according to data analyzed by Europe’s space agency.

The planet was more than 1 degrees Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the pre-industrial average and Europe was an astounding 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer. The analysis comes courtesy of the European Union’s Copernicus Program, one of a number of agencies that maintain a record of the Earth’s worsening fever. Other groups compute the global average temperature as well using slightly different algorithms and analysis methods. Climate data nerds will now keep an eye on what NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration datasets reveal and if all parties agree that this June does indeed set a milestone globally.

Regardless, the spike is notable for a number of reasons. One is that June 2019 (tentatively) took the hottest June title from June 2016 a year. While it was a narrow upset of just 0.1 degrees Celsius, 2016 had a super El Niño helping to boost the global average temperature. This year, there’s also an El Niño but it’s weak and decaying into obscurity.

The new record also reveals that while a planet that’s a few degrees hotter might not sound dramatically different, it is. The European heat wave that broke records across the continent to the end the month is a prime example of how a “little” global warming can have huge impacts. There, temperatures were up to 9 degrees Celsius (16.2 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than normal for the last week of the month. A snap analysis of the role climate change played in driving the heat wave found that climate change made the event at least five times more likely. Compared to heat waves of similar magnitude a century ago, last week’s was 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter, per the analysis.

The heat was also set to full blast in parts of the Arctic where sea ice is receding at an alarming clip. A preliminary analysis of data kept by the National Snow and Ice Data Center shows that sea ice hit its second lowest extent for June on record. And the heat hasn’t stopped in the northern reaches of the globe either. In fact, it’s intensifying.

Alaska is on fire and a ridge of high pressure is expected to build across the state this week. That means sunny, hot conditions will crank into overdrive and all-time temperature records that haven’t already been broken could fall. In other words, the planet is going to keep having a normal one.


more recommended stories

  • Now-Tropical Depression Barry Mostly Spares New Orleans, But Flood Risk Remains High

    Barry Williams wading through storm surge.

  • Your Binge-Watching of Netflix and Porn Is Contributing to Millions of Tons of Emissions a Year

    Most days when I get home.

  • A Blackbird Blowing ‘Smoke’ Rings Wins Top Prize at the 2019 Audubon Photography Awards

    Whoa.Photo: Kathrin Swoboda (Audobon Photography Awards).

  • Paradise, California, Has Lost More Than 90 Percent of Its Residents Since Last Year’s Deadly Fire

    The remnants of the deadly Camp.

  • The Science Behind Tropical Storm Barry’s Potentially Catastrophic Flooding

    Photo: AP If there is one.

  • New Orleans Faces Major Flooding From Tropical Storm Barry

    Terrian Jones feels something move in.

  • Russian Coal Plant Tells Instagrammers to Please Stop Taking Selfies in Its Pollution-Filled Waste Dump

    The turquoise water of a lake.

  • AOC and Bernie Sanders Are Asking Congress to Declare a Climate Emergency

    Photo: AP Governments declaring climate emergencies.

  • That Big California Earthquake Left a Scar That’s Visible From Space

    Friday’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake near Ridgecrest,.

  • It’s Raining Inside the Metro as Flash Floods Rage Across Washington DC

    Washington, D.C. commuters came back to.

  • Austria on the Verge of Becoming First EU Country to Ban Controversial Roundup Herbicide

    A popular herbicide currently in use.

  • Magnitude 7.1 Earthquake in Southern California Is Second Major Quake in Two Days

    A liquor store in Ridgecrest, California.

  • How to Keep Your Home Cool Without Wrecking the Planet

    Summertime is officially here, baby. You.

  • The Weather Machine Reveals How the Forecast Is Made—and Why It’s Now Threatened

    Photo: AP The weather forecast is.

  • Calculation Shows We Could Add a U.S.-Sized Forest to the Planet to Fight Climate Change

    Photo: Getty Trees are good for.

  • More Than a Million Ordered to Evacuate as Southern Japan Braces for a Month of Rain in a Single Day

    The fallout from last year’s floods.

  • Meet the People Risking Their Lives to Study Our Dying Mountain Glaciers

    Extreme Field WorkA series about how.

  • Alaska Is Hot and on Fire

    Smoky haze from a wildfire on.

  • Airplane Contrails Have Surprising Effect on the Atmosphere

    The climate impact of flying isn’t.

  • Everyone Flopped on Climate Change During the First Democratic Debates

    Raise your hand if you want.

  • Scientists Find Dozens of Lakes Buried Far Below Greenland’s Ice

    Meltwater forms on top of the.

  • France Just Obliterated Its All-Time Heat Record

    Image: NASA WorldView France has never.

  • Wildfire Explodes in Spain as Europe Reels From Record Heat

    A burned landscape in Torre de.

  • The Gateway Protecting the Arctic’s Oldest Sea Ice Has Collapsed Months Ahead of Schedule

    The Nares Strait, open for business.

  • Big Little Lies Asks Whether Some Kids Are Too Young to Learn About Climate Change

    Following the incident, the school held.

  • Longest Oil Spill in U.S. History May Be 900 Times Larger Than Originally Estimated

    This March 31, 2015, aerial file.

  • A Potentially Record Setting Heat Wave Is About to Scorch Europe

    Photo: AP Last year’s climate change-fueled.

  • City Dwellers Could Be Key to Saving Monarch Butterflies From Extinction

    Monarchs in Chicago!Photo: Abigail Derby Lewis.

  • Researchers Discover Giant Freshwater Aquifer off U.S. East Coast

    The south shore of Martha’s Vineyard..

  • A Strange New Blend of Rock and Plastic Is Forming on a Portuguese Island

    “Plasticrust” sticking to rocks on the.

  • Why Chennai, India’s Sixth Biggest City, Has Run Out of Water

    Satellite imagery showing Chennai’s Lake Puzhal,.

  • Oregon State Police Are Searching for Republican Lawmakers Afraid of Voting on Climate Policy

    No Republican lawmakers here.Photo: Oregon DOT.