Record-Breaking June Heat for Earth

Last month was the hottest June on record and the thirteenth consecutive month to set a temperature record, according to new data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.

“These latest figures highlight that we will increasingly exceed the 1.5 degrees Celsius level on a temporary basis, monthly,” said World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Celeste Saulo.

© Unsplash/Ryan Loughlin, Temperatures have hit record highs across the world in 2023.

The 1.5°C Threshold

The crucial 1.5°C threshold refers to the temperature rise above pre-industrial levels starting in 1850.

“However, it’s important to note that temporary breaches don’t mean the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal is permanently lost,” Saulo added. “This goal refers to long-term warming over at least two decades.”

Efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century were officially endorsed under the Paris Agreement, effective since 2016. Scientists warn that exceeding this limit could lead to severe climate impacts and extreme weather events, stressing the importance of every fraction of a degree.

Impacts of Rising Temperatures

For instance, every 0.1 degree Celsius increase causes noticeable increases in the intensity and frequency of extreme temperature and precipitation, as well as agricultural and ecological droughts in some regions, according to the WMO.

Even at current warming levels, the world faces devastating climate impacts. More extreme heatwaves, heavy rainfall events, droughts, glacier reductions, and accelerating sea level rise are already affecting the planet. Extreme heat causes the highest mortality rate among extreme weather events, with an estimated 489,000 heat-related deaths per year between 2000 and 2019, according to a 2023 WMO report.

Sea Surface Temperatures and Sea Ice

The record sea surface temperature for June is also the highest on record, posing a threat to vital marine ecosystems and providing energy for tropical cyclones, as seen with Hurricane Beryl, noted Saulo.

Sea ice at the poles is shrinking, with the Arctic 3% below average and the Antarctic 12% below average for June, based on satellite data.

Global Temperature Highlights

European temperatures rose the most above average in southeastern regions and Türkiye. Outside Europe, the highest above-average temperatures were recorded in eastern Canada, the western United States and Mexico, Brazil, northern Siberia, the Middle East, northern Africa, and western Antarctica.

Despite below-average temperatures over the eastern equatorial Pacific, indicating a developing La Niña, air temperatures over the ocean remained unusually high in many regions.

“Even if this current streak of extremes ends, new records will continue to be set as the climate warms,” said Carlo Buontempo, Director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service. “This is inevitable unless we stop adding greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and oceans.”

Re-reported from the article originally published in UN News.

Record-Breaking June Heat for Earth

Last month was the hottest June on record and the thirteenth consecutive month to set a temperature record, according to new data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.

“These latest figures highlight that we will increasingly exceed the 1.5 degrees Celsius level on a temporary basis, monthly,” said World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Celeste Saulo.

© Unsplash/Ryan Loughlin, Temperatures have hit record highs across the world in 2023.

The 1.5°C Threshold

The crucial 1.5°C threshold refers to the temperature rise above pre-industrial levels starting in 1850.

“However, it’s important to note that temporary breaches don’t mean the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal is permanently lost,” Saulo added. “This goal refers to long-term warming over at least two decades.”

Efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century were officially endorsed under the Paris Agreement, effective since 2016. Scientists warn that exceeding this limit could lead to severe climate impacts and extreme weather events, stressing the importance of every fraction of a degree.

Impacts of Rising Temperatures

For instance, every 0.1 degree Celsius increase causes noticeable increases in the intensity and frequency of extreme temperature and precipitation, as well as agricultural and ecological droughts in some regions, according to the WMO.

Even at current warming levels, the world faces devastating climate impacts. More extreme heatwaves, heavy rainfall events, droughts, glacier reductions, and accelerating sea level rise are already affecting the planet. Extreme heat causes the highest mortality rate among extreme weather events, with an estimated 489,000 heat-related deaths per year between 2000 and 2019, according to a 2023 WMO report.

Sea Surface Temperatures and Sea Ice

The record sea surface temperature for June is also the highest on record, posing a threat to vital marine ecosystems and providing energy for tropical cyclones, as seen with Hurricane Beryl, noted Saulo.

Sea ice at the poles is shrinking, with the Arctic 3% below average and the Antarctic 12% below average for June, based on satellite data.

Global Temperature Highlights

European temperatures rose the most above average in southeastern regions and Türkiye. Outside Europe, the highest above-average temperatures were recorded in eastern Canada, the western United States and Mexico, Brazil, northern Siberia, the Middle East, northern Africa, and western Antarctica.

Despite below-average temperatures over the eastern equatorial Pacific, indicating a developing La Niña, air temperatures over the ocean remained unusually high in many regions.

“Even if this current streak of extremes ends, new records will continue to be set as the climate warms,” said Carlo Buontempo, Director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service. “This is inevitable unless we stop adding greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and oceans.”

Re-reported from the article originally published in UN News.