Jul 7, 2021 - Energy & Environment

North America had its hottest June on record

A thermometer.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

North America just had its hottest June in temperature records that date back to the 1800s, researchers with the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Their monthly analysis helps contextualize the late-month heatwave that saw many temperature records shattered.

  • "These heatwaves are not happening in a vacuum. They are happening in a global climate environment that is warming and which makes them more likely to occur," Copernicus scientist Julien Nicolas tells AFP.
  • Human-induced climate change dramatically increases the odds, severity, extent and longevity of extreme heat events.

By the numbers: June in North America was 1.2°C above the 1991-2020 average. Until last month, the warmest June on record in North America was in 2012 at 1.05°C above that three-decade average, they said.

  • On a worldwide basis, Copernicus said: "June 2021 joins June 2018 as the fourth warmest June on record globally, after the Junes of 2016, 2019 and 2020."

Catch up fast: Last month saw many records fall, often by large margins.That included Portland, Oregon hitting hit 116°F (roughly 46.7°C) and Lytton, British Columbia reaching 121°F (or 49.4°C). That town was devastated by a wildfire the day after that peak.

Go deeper: Pacific Northwest heat wave, Canada temperature record shock experts

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