June 2019, marked by exceptional heat in Western Europe, was the hottest month of June ever recorded in the world, according to data published on Tuesday.
It beat the previous June record, set in 2016, by 0.1°C. The highest increase was in Europe, with an average temperature that was 2°C above the norm, according to data from the European service on climate change Copernicus.
Records fell like ninepins last week in many European countries due to the high heat levels brought on by a scorching wind from the Sahara. Temperatures exceeded seasonal averages by 10°C in Germany, northern Spain, northern Italy and France, which reached an absolute record of 45.9°C on Friday.
The Copernicus team noted that it was hard to attribute the record highs “directly” to climate change, but a team of scientists that studied the French heatwave concluded on Tuesday that it was “at least five times more probable” than if Man had not altered the global climate.
Combining satellite and historical data, Copernicus estimated that the June temperature in Europe was 3°C higher that the average for 1850-1900.
“Our data shows that temperatures in southwest Europe last week were abnormally high,” commented the head of Copernicus, Jean-Noël Thépaut. “Even if this was exceptional, we’ll probably experience more of these events in future as a result of climate change.”