Early June sees its highest temperatures ever, says EU climate change service

The first 11 days of June registered the highest temperatures on record globally for this time of the year.

This is the first time global surface air temperatures have exceeded the pre-industrial level by more than 1.5C during the month of June, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

The service monitors how often daily global temperatures have exceeded this limit as it is a good indicator of how fast we are approaching the 1.5C threshold set in the Paris Agreement.

Although this is the first time this limit has been surpassed in June, this is not the first time that the daily global average temperature rise has been above that level.

The threshold was first exceeded in December 2015, and exceeded repeatedly in the winters and springs of 2016 and 2020.

The 1.5C limit established by the Paris Agreement has not yet been breached as it was set for changes in 20 or 30-year averages, not for brief periods of time such as days or months.

Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), said: “The world has just experienced its warmest early June on record, following a month of May that was less than 0.1C cooler than the warmest May on record.

“Monitoring our climate is more important than ever to determine how often, and for how long, rises in global temperatures are exceeding 1.5C.

“Every single fraction of a degree matters to avoid even more severe consequences of the climate crisis.”

Experts warn the rising temperatures are worrying and that the planet is getting consistently closer to breaching the 1.5C barrier in the long term.

Dr Melissa Lazenby, lecturer in climate change at the University of Sussex, said: “The world is warming as scientists have predicted and anthropogenic climate change is the reason.

“We have breached 1.5 degrees warming periodically this month – which means we have not breached the Paris Agreement, as that requires the average longer-term temperatures to consistently be above the 1.5 degree threshold.

“That being said, we are consistently getting closer to breaching 1.5 degrees in the long term and this should be a stern warning sign that we are heading into very warm, uncharted territory.

“We are currently heading into an El Nino event which is a natural phenomenon where we experience warmer global temperatures on average and therefore it is no surprise we are exceeding thresholds of 1.5 degrees temporarily.

“We require urgent action and a significant reduction in emissions to avoid exceeding 1.5 degrees in the longer term. This is just a stark reminder of how close we are getting and how serious the impacts are.”

Hannah Cloke, Professor of Hydrology, University of Reading, said: “Each time we tip over 1.5 degrees with increasing regularity, it is a worrying sign that we are getting closer to a point of no return.

“This doesn’t mean we should give up, though.

“If we can keep average temperatures to, say, 1.6 degrees, it would lead to significantly better outcomes for millions of people than if we hit 1.7.

“These figures may seem like dry data, but they represent more floods, more droughts, more fires.”

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.