June Breaks Global Mark for Hottest Month Ever Recorded
By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
The East Coast and Midwest are cooling off from an extraordinarily hot streak this month. Whether those 100-plus degree days will help break the record for the hottest month on record won’t be known for a little while. But the odds are good.
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As The Atlantic magazine’s Robinson Meyer forecast on July 19, “For the next several days, a vast blanket of oppressive heat will smother the eastern two-thirds of the United States, subjecting tens of millions of people to searingly hot days and forbidding, unrelenting nights. From the southern Plains to New England, inescapable humidity will meet broiling air to produce heat indexes in excess of 110 degrees Fahrenheit.”
We have only to look to this past June to find the target record. June 2019 was the hottest month on record across the globe, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Antarctic Sea Ice Shrank to a New Record Low during Two Successive Months of Warming
One contributing factor to June being the hottest month ever recorded might be that the Antarctic sea ice shrank to a new record low, thanks to two successive months of warming.
NOAA reported that the “average global temperature in June was 1.71 degrees above the 20th century average of 59.9 degrees, making it the hottest June in the 140-year record” going back to 1880. In fact, nine of the ten hottest Junes have occurred since 2010.
2019 Stands a Good Chance of Breaking the Hottest Year Mark
In addition to a potentially record-breaking month, this year stands a good chance of breaking the annual mark. According to NOAA, the first six months of 2019 “produced a global temperature of 1.71 degrees F above the 20th century average of 56.3 degrees.” That six-month increase tied 2017 as the second highest January–June period in the 140-year record. “Only January–June 2016 (+2.00°F) was warmer.”
Record high temperatures during those first six months of 2019 were recorded in South America, parts of the southern portion of Africa, Madagascar, New Zealand, Alaska, western Canada, Mexico, eastern Asia, the Atlantic and Indian oceans, and the Bering Sea.
For the first six months of the year, in fact, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information notes that “the 10 highest global ocean monthly temperature departures from average have all occurred since September 2015.”
These figures and records do not bode well for reversing the effects of global warning.
Next 18 Months Will Be Critical in Dealing with Global Warming
Matt McGrath, environmental correspondent for the BBC, writes that “there's a growing consensus that the next 18 months will be critical in dealing with the global heating crisis, among other environmental challenges.”
To bolster the claim that 2020 is a firm deadline for action, McGrath quotes Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, one of the world's top climate scientists and founder and director emeritus of the Potsdam Climate Institute.
"The climate math is brutally clear,” Schellnhuber warned in 2017. “While the world can't be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence until 2020."
If true, next year may be the world’s last chance to make meaningful climate change.