June 2019 was 2ºC (3.6ºF) above normal temperatures around the globe making it the hottest June worldwide since records began, according to the European Union's Satellite Agency.
This won't surprise residents of France, which on June 28 broke the national temperature record by 1.8ºC (3.4ºF). Nor people living across central Europe, where most nations experienced either their highest temperatures of all time, or set records for June. Earlier in the month, Greenland lost 2 billion tonnes of ice to melt in a single day, long before the usual peak. Plenty of other places, including Delhi with a population larger than most countries, set local records.
Of course, some places also had a month that was a little on the cool side, including unusual snowfalls in Queensland, Australia's sunshine state. The European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMRWF) used data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service to measure the global average as 0.1ºC higher than June 2016, the previous record-holder.
For Europe, this June was 1ºC (1.8ºF) above the previous record.
Inevitably, following this report, there will be people saying that the climate is always changing (as if meteorologists didn't know that) and this is all totally natural.
Those who have dedicated their working lives to studying, and predicting, the Earth's atmosphere, however, have reached different conclusions.
A wealth of reports are increasingly available attributing these changes to the human-made climate crisis, and exploring the contribution humans have made to extreme weather events. World Weather Attribution, a project that engages leading European meteorologists has produced a 32-page report on France's heatwave.
Among the report's key findings are: “Similarly frequent heat waves would have likely been about 4ºC (7ºF) cooler a century ago,” and “The heat wave was made at least 5 times more likely” by human-induced global warming.
One author summed it up like this:
Other agencies conducting global temperature tracking are yet to release their results, which can sometimes differ slightly, but if they find June 2019 missed the record, it won't be by much.
Satellite records only date back 40 years, and we've only had a comprehensive record of land and sea temperatures since the start of the 20th century. Proxy records based on ice cores, tree rings, and stalagmites are not precise enough, nor sufficiently widespread, to give us monthly global estimates before that. Nevertheless, these same proxies show average temperatures over more extended periods of time were so much colder than in recent years that no June since the invention of the calendar is likely to have matched this one.