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June hottest on record, beating 2023 high

June hottest on record, beating 2023 high

Last month was the hottest June on record across the globe, the EU's climate monitor said Monday (Jul 8), capping half a year of wild and destructive weather from floods to heatwaves. Every month since June 2023 has eclipsed its own temperature record in a 13-month streak of unprecedented global heat, the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said.

"This is more than a statistical oddity and it highlights a large and continuing shift in our climate," said the service director, Carlo Buontempo. "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 was "inevitable" as long as humanity kept adding heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, he said.

The global average temperature notched last month broke the previous June record set in 2023.

The fresh high came at the midway point of a year marked by climate extremes. Scorching heat has blanketed swathes of the world from India to Saudi Arabia, the United States and Mexico in the first half of this year.

Relentless rain, a phenomena scientists have also linked to a warmer planet, caused extensive flooding in Kenya, China, Brazil, Afghanistan, Russia and France.

Wildfires have torched land in Greece and Canada and last week, Hurricane Beryl became the earliest category five Atlantic hurricane on record as it barrelled across several Caribbean islands.

Massive floods affect millions across South Asia
Massive floods have swept through swathes of India, Nepal and Bangladesh in recent days, killing scores of people and affecting millions of others.

Large-scale rescue operations are under way, with authorities directing thousands to shelters while sending food and supplies to those who are stranded.

Major rivers including the Brahmaputra and the Koshi, which flow through several countries, have overflowed their banks due to heavy rain.

Floods and landslides are not uncommon during South Asia's monsoon season, when it receives up to 90% of its annual rainfall. But experts say the issue has worsened in recent years due to climate change.

In Bangladesh, authorities said two million people have been affected by floods with at least eight people dead. The overflowing Brahmaputra has inundated a quarter of the districts in the country.

"We live with floods here. But this year the water was very high. In three days, the Brahmaputra rose by 6ft to 8ft (2m-2.5m)," Abdul Gafur, a local councillor in the district, told the AFP news agency. "We are trying to deliver food, especially rice and edible oil. But there is a drinking water crisis."

The UN's World Meteorological Organization is predicting "above normal" rainfall for the South Asia monsoon season that is expected to last until September.