In response to news on Tuesday that a European Union satellite agency declared last month the hottest June ever recorded, 2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders said, "Maybe, just maybe, it's time to start treating this like a crisis and not a hoax."
With campaigners across the world demanding leaders respond to the crisis of the rapidly heating planet as the "climate emergency" it is, Sanders was responding to a tweet by 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben noting new data released by the UN-supported Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) that showed global temperatures last month were the highest ever recorded for June since records began in the late 19th century.
European satellite agency concludes that June was the hottest month ever recorded on earth, our planet. https://t.co/qesjAC5yHn
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) July 2, 2019
As the story by the Independent newspaper on the temperature data was poorly worded or incorrectly reported, McKibben later returned to Twitter to clarify the report's findings, but he made it clear the reality should still be met with serious alarm:
Cheerful news I know will make everyone feel better: the Independent has corrected their story, it's only the hottest June ever recorded on planet earth. So, nothing at all to worry about.
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) July 3, 2019
According to C3S, average temperatures across Europe "were more than 2°C above normal" and the "global-average temperature for June 2019 was also the highest on record for the month."
— Dr. Mark H. Shapiro (@doctormark2) July 2, 2019
Globally, the temperature average, the group noted, was about 0.1°C higher than that of the previous warmest June, in 2016, following a strong El Niño event.
Summer has just begun for many, but already temperature records are being broken.@CopernicusECMWF just reported that last month was the hottest June EVER. We need to act like this is the climate emergency it is. Join the Sept 20 #ClimateStrike https://t.co/sYhos065GS pic.twitter.com/c9vhXYBRiJ
— 350 dot org (@350) July 2, 2019
While a widespread heatwave in the last weeks of the month pushed up the average for Europe, Jean-Noël Thépaut, who heads C3S, said that even as the heatwave itself cannot be directly attributed to the global climate crisis, it fits very much in line with what the scientific community has warned.
"Although local temperatures may have been lower or higher than those forecast, our data show that the temperatures over the southwestern region of Europe during the last week of June were unusually high," Thépaut. "Although this was exceptional, we are likely to see more of these events in the future due to climate change."