North America Has Its Hottest June on Record
Last month was the warmest June on record in North America, researchers said Wednesday, confirming the suspicions of millions of people who endured ever experienced on the continent. The , an agency supported by the European Union, said that average surface temperatures for June in North America were about one-quarter of a degree Fahrenheit (0.15 of a degree Celsius) higher than the average for June 2012, the previous record-holder. Last months average temperature was more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the average from 1991-2020, providing more evidence that human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases are warming the planet. The June was relentless across most of the United States and Canada. Only parts of the Southern Plains and the Southeast in the United States, and Northern Canada east and west of Hudson Bay, were a little cooler than normal. The most brutal conditions were experienced in the and Southwestern Canada. In the , the heat prolonged and intensified that has shriveled crops, and contributed to what is . The month culminated in a hellish that crippled much of Oregon, Washington and . With an enormous of high-pressure air stalled over the region, temperatures reached in Portland, Ore., Seattle and other cities, 30 to 40 degrees above average for the month. In a region where until recently , heat-related deaths soared. The town of Lytton, British Columbia, broke the Canadian temperature record three days in a row, ending with a reading of 121 degrees on June 29. The next day, most of the town was destroyed , in which two residents were killed. The high temperatures last month were not limited to North America, according to the Copernicus analysis. Europe suffered through its second-warmest June ever, with only June 2019 being warmer. Temperatures were above average in Northwestern and Southern Africa, across parts of the Middle East, and in China and much of Southeast Asia. High temperatures in Arctic Siberia contributed to an early start to wildfire season there. Climate change is contributing to worsening heat waves. One result is that people can no longer count on a reprieve: cooler evening temperatures. Heres how high overnight temperatures can make heat waves deadlier People can acclimatize to both high and low temperatures when given the chance. because our bodies arent given the time they need to adapt. They are even more deadly when nighttime temperatures dont drop enough. After a hot day, its important that people have an , said Kristie Ebi, an environmental health scientist. Another reason why its important to keep cool at night: We need a respite from sweating, which can exacerbate dehydration. Normally, sweating dissipates body heat. But . When that happens, muscles and enzymes can stop working and eventually internal organs may shut down. Victims risk losing consciousness, suffering seizures or losing the ability to breathe all potentially fatal conditions. Theres evidence that summer . Both climate change and the urban heat island effect, which is when things that absorb heat during the day continue to release the days heat at night, contribute. Read more about the Western heat wave. Globally, last month was the fourth hottest June ever. Only 2016, 2019 and 2020 were hotter. Much of the United States is likely to remain hotter than normal for the rest of the summer, according to the most recent analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Overall, according to the analysis, 2021 is virtually certain to be among the 10 warmest years ever recorded. But thanks to slightly cooler conditions earlier this year related to cooler-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, there is little likelihood that 2021 will make it into the Top 5. NOAA also produces monthly temperature analyses, which are usually released later than those by Copernicus. The two agencies methods differ somewhat NOAA uses more observational data, Copernicus uses more modeling but the findings are usually in close agreement. specializes in the science of climate change and its impacts. He has been writing about science for The Times for more than 20 years and has traveled to the Arctic and Antarctica.