In records dating back to the 19th century, 2016 was the hottest year before 2015 and 2017, with 2018 in fourth place.
Data this week from the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the EU, showed that the global average temperature for June 2019 was the highest on record for the month.
The global temperature was about 0.1 degree Celsius higher than the previous warmest June, which was recorded in 2016.
European average temperatures were more than 2C above average and daytime highs were 6-10C above normal over most of France, Germany and northern Spain during the final days of the month, according to C3S.
“Although local temperatures may have been lower or higher than those forecast, our data shows that the temperatures over the southwestern region of Europe during the last week of June were unusually high,” Jean-Noel Thepaut, head of C3S, said. “Although this was exceptional, we are likely to see more of these events in the future due to climate change.”
Peter Stott, an expert in analysing the role of climate change in extreme weather at the United Kingdom’s Met Office, claimed that “a similarly extreme heatwave 100 years ago would have likely been around 4C cooler”.
In response to the new numbers, Michael Mann, the director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, wrote on Twitter: “This is significant. But stay tuned for July numbers. July is the warmest month of the year globally. If this July turns out to be the warmest July (it has a good shot at it), it will be the warmest month we have measured on Earth.”
The scientists stressed that this outcome is uncertain because conditions could change in the second half of the month, but it underscores a broader pattern of steadily rising temperatures caused by increasing emissions of carbon dioxide.