By Jason Samenow and Andrew Freedman
Boosted by a historic heat wave in Europe and unusually warm conditions across the Arctic and Eurasia, the average temperature of the planet soared to its highest level ever recorded in June.
According to data released Monday by NASA, the global average temperature was 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit (0.93 Celsius) above the June norm (based on a 1951-to-1980 baseline), easily breaking the previous June record of 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit (0.82 Celsius), set in 2016, above the average.
The month was punctuated by a severe heat wave that struck Western Europe in particular during the last week, with numerous all-time-hottest-temperature records falling in countries with centuries-old data sets.
Notably, 13 locations in France surpassed their highest temperature ever recorded. The heat wave’s highest temperature of 114.6 degrees Fahrenheit (45.9 Celsius), posted in Gallargues-le-Montueux, was 3.2 degrees above the old record, set during an infamous heat wave in July and August 2003.
NASA is the second institution to confirm that it was Earth’s hottest June, as the Copernicus Climate Change Service had already determined that June 2019 was the warmest such month on record for Europe and globally.
June featured unusually mild conditions in the Arctic, particularly in Greenland, where the melt season got off to an early start.
July is picking up right where June left off. Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist based in Berkeley, Calif., tweeted that the month so far ranks as the hottest on record narrowly ahead of 2017, the previous record holder.
“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!” tweeted Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University.