June is the thirteenth month in a row that is the warmest in the data record for the respective month of the year.

Earth surpasses 1.5°C warming threshold for 12 months in a row

In an unwanted first, our planet has breached the 1.5°C warming limit set under the Paris Agreement for a year straight, new data finds

June 2024 marked the 13th consecutive month of record-breaking global temperatures, and the 12th in a row above 1.5°C with respect to pre-industrial levels, according to the data from the European Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). The bulletin uses billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations around the world.  

The bulletin showed that June is the thirteenth month in a row that is the warmest in the data record for the respective month of the year. While unusual, a similar streak of monthly global temperature records happened previously in 2015-2016, the data said.

“This is more than a statistical oddity and it highlights a large and continuing shift in our climate,” said Carlo Buontempo, Director of C3S. 

According to data, the month was 1.5°C above the estimated June average for 1850-1900, the designated pre-industrial reference period, making it the twelfth consecutive month to reach or break the 1.5°C threshold.  

The 1.5°C threshold was established under the 2015 Paris agreement. Under that accord, nearly 200 other nations agreed to limit the global average temperature increase to a maximum of 2°C over pre-industrial levels — and preferably below 1.5°C — in order to reduce the worst effects of climate change.

Escalating y-o-y global surface air temperatures in June relative to pre-industrial levels

The bulletin said June 2024 was warmer globally than any previous June in the data record, with an average surface air temperature of 16.66°C, 0.67°C above the 1991-2020 average for June and 0.14°C above the previous high set in June 2023. 

“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 GHG into the atmosphere and the oceans, ” added Buontempo.

The global-average temperature for the past 12 months (July 2023 – June 2024) is the highest on record, at 0.76°C above the 1991-2020 average and 1.64°C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average.  

It is not merely surface air temperatures that are soaring. The bulletin said that  Antarctic sea ice extent was 12% below average, the second-lowest extent for June in the satellite data record, behind the lowest June value of -16% observed in 2023.

In terms of hydrological insights, the data said that drier-than-average conditions were seen across North America, several regions of Asia and most of South America. Severe wildfires occurred in northeastern Russia and central South America.

Breaching the 1.5°C threshold is indicative of multiple climate change induced vagaries. 

The reports by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been warning about the repercussions of exceeding 1.5°C levels, with various emissions scenarios leading to frequent and more intense extreme weather events, resulting in floods, droughts, and sudden and unpredictable weather shocks. This would lead to loss of not only lives and livelihoods, but also social and economic ecosystems—resulting in political instability as well as public unrest. 

About The Author