Heatwave: North America witnesses hottest June on record
The climate monitoring service of the European Union (EU) reported June 2020 as the hottest ever recorded in North America, with a deadly heatwave engulfing parts of the continent. It says the record heat reflects global warming's impact on the Earth.
Record-breaking heat hit the Southwest, Northwest US reaching Canada, where three days in a row, British Columbia broke its all-time record daily temperature.
The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) reported that the region was 1.2 degrees Celsius (34.2 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer in June than it had been from 1991 to 2020.
According to Julien Nicolas, a C3S climate scientist, these heatwaves are not isolated events. As per experts, a warming climate makes them more likely to occur.
On a global scale, June 2021 will be the fourth hottest month, following the same month in 2018.
While northern Siberia also experienced one of the hottest summers on record, June was the second warmest on record for Europe.
According to Nicolas, there is already widespread understanding that heatwaves are occurring more frequently, more intense, and longer bursts than in the past.
Last month's heatwaves across the US, western Russia, and northern Siberia are the latest in what he says will be a trend that will continue into the future.
A life-threatening situation
In addition to unusually dry conditions in these regions, both wildfires and heat "posed threats to life," according to a C3S report.
Many fires raged across Canada over the past few days due to the deadly heatwave and dry conditions.
Carlo Buontempo, the director of C3S, says that what's happening in Canada is a big leap in comparison to the previous records.
In his opinion, the recent heatwaves are a powerful reminder of the possible impacts climate change could have on our lives. As part of the 2015 Paris Agreement, the rise in global temperatures is to be limited to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius, and 1.5 degrees, if possible. However, global temperatures have already witnessed an increase of some 1.1 degrees Celsius so far due to human activity, increasing fierce storms, extreme heatwaves, droughts, and wildfires.
There stands a 40 per cent chance that global temperatures are on course to surpass 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels within five years, according to the World Meteorological Organization and Britain's Met Office.