Last month was the warmest June on record in North America, researchers said Wednesday, confirming the suspicions of millions of people who endured some of the hottest temperatures ever experienced on the continent. The New York Times reports: The Copernicus Climate Change Service, an agency supported by the European Union, said that average surface temperatures for June in North America were about one-quarter of a degree Fahrenheit (0.15 of a degree Celsius) higher than the average for June 2012, the previous record-holder. Last month’s average temperature was more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the average from 1991-2020, providing more evidence that human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases are warming the planet.
The June heat was relentless across most of the United States and Canada. Only parts of the Southern Plains and the Southeast in the United States, and Northern Canada east and west of Hudson Bay, were a little cooler than normal. The most brutal conditions were experienced in the Western United States and Southwestern Canada. In the West, the heat prolonged and intensified a severe drought that has shriveled crops, threatened water supplies and contributed to what is shaping up to be a severe wildfire season. The month culminated in a hellish heat wave that crippled much of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. “Europe suffered through its second-warmest June ever, with only June 2019 being warmer,” the report notes. “Globally, last month was the fourth hottest June ever. Only 2016, 2019 and 2020 were hotter.”
Overall, according to the analysis, 2021 is virtually certain to be among the 10 warmest years ever recorded. But thanks to slightly cooler conditions earlier this year related to cooler-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, there is little likelihood that 2021 will make it into the Top 5.”