According to Berkeley Earth, the devastating heatwave that hit the Northwest US and Southwest Canada in June was the worst ever recorded heatwave in North America. This is based on how severe the heatwave was, and how much it was warmer than average. The region saw record temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius (or 36 F), which was about 20 degrees Celsius higher than the average for June.
Canada's hottest ever temperature was recorded on June 29th in Lyton, British Columbia. It reached a staggering 49.6 degrees Celsius (121 Fahrenheit). The average June temperatures are between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius (68-86 degrees Fahrenheit).
It is a terrible heat.
It is shocking to see the consequences of this heat. The scorching heat caused wildfires that destroyed 90 percent of Lytton. At least 570 heat-related deaths were reported in Canada, and at least 194 in America. Many more people ended up in emergency rooms.
According to preliminary analysis by NOAA, the heatwave of June was an event that would have occurred in 1,000 years. According to NOAA, and an independent analysis by an international team of scientists, the severity of this heatwave would have been almost impossible without climate change caused by humans.
It was the warmest June ever recorded across all land areas in the Northern Hemisphere. According to Berkeley Earth analysis, nearly 4 percent of the Earth's surface experienced record-breaking temperatures in the first half 2021. This is despite the cooling effects of a La Nia storm. Robert Rohde, Berkeley Earth's lead scientist, tweeted that Nowhere has been colder than the first six months.
More record-breaking heatwaves are possible
Globally, there are increasing odds of record-breaking heatwaves such as the one that decimated the US and Canada in June. Research published this week shows that prolonged, record-breaking heat events are up to seven times more likely than in the past three decades. This estimate assumes that greenhouse gas emissions will remain high as they are today. Although there is still hope for avoiding this future, first humanity must stop using so many fossil fuels.