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This June Was Earth's Third Hottest On Record

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Sunny afternoon surrounded by palm trees in Venice Beach, California. (Guillaume Bassem Via Unsplash)
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June temperatures may be a distant memory — in fact you might be wishing for them following this weekend’s dangerous triple digit scorcher that reached 128 degrees in Death Valley — but new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lays out just how hot the start of summer was.

According to NOAA, this past June was the third hottest on record for the globe, about 1.6 degrees hotter than average. In California, temperatures were about two degrees above average, putting the month in the top third of its hottest Junes.

The heat is part of a longer term warming trend, which has seen the state's average June temperature climb more than two degrees farenheit, or about .2 degrees per decade, over the past 126 years.

While some Junes have measurred below average — obviously — the last nine have been hotter than normal.

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“Having nine years in a row is a fairly remarkable statistic given the fact that no other period in the 126-year record has seen that kind of consistency or persistence year-over-year for the month of June,” said Karin Gleason, climate scientist with the National Centers for Environmental Information.

Zoom in on Los Angeles County and the data shows that last month was about 2.5 degrees hotter than average, placing it among one of the hottest on record as well.

The first half of the year — January through June — was the second hottest start to a year on record for the globe.

Hotter temperatures due to climate change have huge implications for California, including an increased risk of wildfires (this decade has seen five of the most destructive in state history), worsening air pollution, and heat related deaths, which disproportionately impact marginalized communities.

Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly specified a region that experienced record June temperatures, when in fact the record in question is global.

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