June shatters heat records, 2024 on track to be hottest year yet

June 2024 is set to be the hottest month on record, following a trend since June 2023 due to human-induced climate change and El Niño. Predictions indicate 2024 could be the hottest year since 1800, with severe global impacts including fatalities in New Delhi and during the Hajj pilgrimage. 

Image credit: Pixabay

June 2024 is anticipated to be the hottest month on record, as per the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). This trend started in June 2023, with each month breaking temperature records. Scientists attribute the extreme heat to human-induced climate change and El Niño conditions. Zeke Hausfather of Berkeley Earth predicts a 95% chance that 2024 will be the hottest year since 1800.

The heatwave has had severe global impacts, causing deaths in New Delhi, over 1,000 fatalities during the Hajj pilgrimage, and extreme conditions for tourists in Greece. El Niño, characterized by warm sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, has played a significant role in these conditions. Although its intensity has recently declined, El Niño can still cause significant weather disruptions, such as flooding, droughts, and altered rainfall patterns.

Friederike Otto from Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute points out that while El Niño is a natural phenomenon and uncontrollable, human activities like burning fossil fuels significantly contribute to climate change, which can be mitigated. The C3S reports that since last year, the world’s average temperature has been 1.64 degrees Celsius above normal levels.

This unprecedented heat underscores the urgency of addressing climate change, highlighting the need for global cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts of such extreme weather events. The ongoing heatwave serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of climate inaction, emphasizing the critical importance of sustainable practices and policies to protect the planet for future generations.

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