Earth just saw hottest June on record
(CN) — Historic flooding in Vermont. Mudslides in California. A record-setting heat wave in Arizona. Water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean hitting record highs. Wildfires in Canada burning unabated.
These events are not isolated, but rather related to global warming and climate change as the Earth experienced the hottest June in at least 174 years of record keeping, according to a report released Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The report also found the year-to-date global surface temperature ranked as the third warmest such period on record, while the month of June marked the first time a monthly reading exceeded the monthly average by more than a single degree Celsius. According to NOAA’s Global Annual Temperature Outlook, “it is virtually certain that the year 2023 will rank among the 10 warmest years on record and a 97% chance it will rank among the top five.”
More than 8.6% of the planet experienced record high temperatures during the month, while less than 1% experienced record cold temperatures.
The report confirms similar findings by the European Union’s climate change agency this month.
Some other highlights: The extent of Arctic sea ice in June ranked the 13th lowest on record, while the extent of sea ice in Antarctica reached its lowest point ever. The United Kingdom and the Netherlands each recorded their hottest June ever. Pakistan recorded its second wettest June ever, while central and southern Chile experienced the worst flooding in 30 years. The African continent tied 2017 for its third warmest June ever.
High sea-surface temperatures are exacerbated by El Niño conditions expected to last until late summer, as hurricane season intensifies. June marked the third consecutive month of record high temperatures, while there have already been nine named tropical storm systems worldwide in 2023, four of which had winds of at least 74 miles per hour and one where winds exceeded 111 miles per hour.
“The global accumulated cyclone energy, an integrated metric of the strength, frequency, and duration of tropical storms, was almost twice its average value in June,” the report states. “The Atlantic basin saw three tropical storms this June, which ties eight other years for the most in June.”
By the numbers, June’s global average of 61.79 degrees Fahrenheit was 1.89 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average.
“Temperatures were above average throughout most of South America, Europe, Africa and Asia,” the report concluded. “Combined, record-warm temperatures covered just over 8.6% of the world’s surface this month, which marks the highest June percentage since 1951.”