Last month was the hottest June on record and no one is surprised

Christine Fisher
Contributing Writer
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NASA/GISS/GISTEMP

Last month earned the title of hottest June on record, and yes, you have heard that before. According to NASA, the global average temperature was 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit (0.93 Celsius) above the June norm. That tops the previous record, 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit (0.82 Celsius) above average, set in 2016.

June's temperatures were boosted by a severe heat wave in Western Europe towards the end of the month. Thirteen locations in France recorded their highest temperatures ever, and Gallargues-le-Montueux saw a high of 114.6 degrees Fahrenheit (45.9 Celsius). Now, with a heat wave in the US expanding from the Plains and Midwest to the East Coast, July is on track to snag the title of hottest July on record, too.

If the refrain "hottest on record" sounds familiar, that's because it is. May 2019 was the fourth hottest May on record, and 2018 was the fourth hottest year on record -- beat only by 2015, 2016 and 2017. According to The Washington Post, 2019's especially warm June and July could push this year into the top-three warmest years.

Unfortunately, it looks like temperatures will continue creeping up. The US knows climate change is ravaging the planet, and the UN has warned that climate change is worse than we first thought. But we've already built so many power plants, factories, vehicles and home appliances that the emissions from those existing products will heat the planet by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. We'd have to stop producing those emitters and close power plants before the end of their useful lives to stave off disaster. But with the Trump administration's coal-friendly stance, that looks unlikely.