Jul 5, 2023 - Energy & Environment

Globe has warmest June on record by far, early data shows

Global average sea surface temperature anomaly on July 3.

Global average sea surface temperature anomaly on July 3. Image: Climate Reanalyzer/University of Maine.

The globe set a record for the warmest June since at least 1940, new and emerging climate data shows, obliterating the previous milestone from 2019. Separately, the globe set new single day records for the hottest day yet measured, on July 3 and 4.

Why it matters: The records are an indication of the influence that an El Niño event is having in the tropical Pacific Ocean, since it is amplifying the pace of human-caused climate change.

  • The monthly record's magnitude signals that more temperature reports to come from U.S. and other governments are likely to rank June the same way.

The big picture: The monthly temperature data comes from European computer model data known as ERA-5, as well as a separate analysis from the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Zoom in: According to Zeke Hausfather, climate research lead at payments company Stripe, global average surface temperatures were about 1.46°C (2.63°F) degrees above the preindustrial (1850 to 1899) average.

  • The next-warmest June was in 2019, but it was 0.16°C (0.3°F) cooler than last month.
  • Other climate information, including from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction, also show a June record.

Between the lines: In addition, the NOAA single-day numbers come from a computer modeling system that takes into account surface, satellite and other measurements, rather than purely ground-based instruments.

  • These were the first days in that data set to have a global average surface temperature exceed 17°C (62.6°F).
  • Since July tends to be the planet's hottest month, it is possible these records will be exceeded in the next few weeks.

Yes, but: A daily global record may sound alarming, but it is more symbolic than scientifically meaningful.

  • Researchers monitor human-caused climate change over the course of months to decades in order to decipher signals from the noise of natural climate variability.
  • The long-term trend is clear, showing a increasing global average temperatures in tandem with growing amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

What's next: NOAA, NASA and agencies in the UK, the European Union and Japan will report their official June global temperature data during the next two weeks.

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