June marks 13th straight month of record global average temperature

Berlin, Jul. 8, (dpa/GNA) – Global temperatures have averaged 1.64 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels over the past year, with scientists warning it marks a “large and continuing shift in our climate”.

The latest figures from the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service found June was the 13th month in a row that was record-breaking for the time of year.

The month was 1.5C above the estimated June average for 1850-1900, the baseline used to measure temperature rises caused by human activity as the world has industrialised and used fossil fuels, and cleared forests, at increasing levels.

It is the 12th consecutive month to reach or break the key 1.5C threshold.

Countries have committed to curb global warming to 1.5C to avoid the worst impacts of floods, drought, heat, extreme weather and rising sea levels.

Although the past 12 months reaching that level does not mean the threshold has been permanently breached, as it is measured over a long timeframe, scientists warn records will continue to fall if humans do not halt greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere.

The average global temperature for the past 12 months, from July 2023 to June 2024, is the highest on record and has been 1.64C above pre-industrial level, Copernicus warned.

It also found that the average sea surface temperature for June 2024, away from the polar regions, was 20.85C, the highest value on record for the month, making it the 15th month in a row that seas have seen record warmth for the time of year.

Carlo Buontempo, director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said: “June marks the 13th consecutive month of record-breaking global temperatures, and the 12th in a row above 1.5C with respect to pre-industrial.

“This is more than a statistical oddity and it highlights a large and continuing shift in our climate.

“Even if this specific streak of extremes ends at some point, we are bound to see new records being broken as the climate continues to warm.

“This is inevitable, unless we stop adding greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and the oceans.”

Responding to the announcement, Teresa Anderson, global climate justice lead at ActionAid International said: “The nightmare of climate change is now real as intolerable heatwaves, devastating cyclones and ecosystem losses spread across the planet.

“The fundamental injustice of climate change is that millions of the poorest people across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, who have done the least to cause the problem, are forced to suffer the worst impacts.

“This is a terrible warning that climate action has to move into a much higher gear,” she urged, saying the wealthiest polluting countries had to “stop fuelling the fire” and agree to pay for the damage they were causing.