Unprecedented heat swept from the southwestern to northwestern United States and into Canada, where the all-time record daily temperature was broken three days in a row in British Columbia.
The region was 1.2 degrees Celsius (34.2 degrees Fahrenheit) above the June 1991-2020 average, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).
“These heat waves do not occur in a vacuum. They are happening in a global climate environment that is warming and making it more likely that they will occur,” said C3S climate scientist Julien Nicolas.
Globally, June 2021 joins the same month in 2018 as the fourth warmest June.
It was the second warmest June on record in Europe, while northern Siberia also saw extremely high summer temperatures.
It is already known that heat waves occur more frequently, are more intense and last longer than in the past, Nicolás told AFP.
“The heat waves we saw last month in North America, western Russia and northern Siberia are just the most recent examples of a trend that is projected to continue into the future and is linked to the warming of our global climate. “, He said.
The affected regions also had unusually dry soils, according to a C3S report, which noted that both forest fires and heat “pose a threat to life.”
Dozens of fires have swept through parts of Canada in recent days, fueled by the deadly heat wave and dry tinder conditions.
“What happened in Canada was a huge leap from the previous record,” said Carlo Buontempo, director of C3S.
“These records are a powerful reminder of the impact that climate change could have on our lives,” he told AFP.
The 2015 Paris Agreement calls for limiting the rise in global temperatures to “well below” two degrees Celsius, and 1.5 degrees if possible.
Human activity has raised global temperatures by 1.1 degrees Celsius so far, causing increasingly fierce storms, extreme heat waves, droughts and wildfires.
In May, the World Meteorological Organization and Britain’s Met Office said there was a 40 percent chance that the annual mean global temperature will temporarily exceed 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures in the next five years.
The past six years, including 2020, have been the six warmest on record.