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Unprecedented 32.5C in the Arctic Circle during month of smashed global temperature records

Countries across Europe broke temperature records in June – with an unprecedented 32.5C (90.5F) reported in the Arctic Circle.

Norway’s Meteorological Institute has warned the high temperatures are a clear signal of climate change.

In Banak, where this new record was broken, average temperatures for June typically stand at 13C (55F).

The World Meteorological Organization tweeted: “Many June temperature records have tumbled in Asia, North Africa, parts of the Arctic and Europe.

“Stations throughout Scandinavia on Wednesday had ‘tropical days’ above 30C (86F). Central Asia and Japan are gripped by intense heat.”

Forecasters said an unusually early end to Japan’s rainy season has led to widespread temperatures above 35C (95F).

The Japanese government is urging its citizens to cut their power use as much as possible, while running air conditioners to keep safe.

Tokyo hit 37C (98.6F) – and it’s unusual to see such heat at this point in the year.

Japan

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Japan has experienced such extreme heat that there have been fears for power supplies

The heatwave has been making its presence felt across Europe, too.

Heat warnings are still in force across Poland, with thunderstorms expected as the heat breaks down.

In Italy, the worst drought in 70 years has meant salt water from the Adriatic Sea is following back into the country’s longest river – further damaging crops blighted by the early summer heatwave.

Italy

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Italy has had its worst drought in 70 years

And over in North Africa, high temperatures and fires have badly affected Tunisia’s grain harvest.

Sky News meteorologist Kirsty McCabe said: “Many parts of Europe have been unusually hot for June, with the UK experiencing its own blast of heat earlier in the month.

“The high temperatures across Europe are due to a ridge of high pressure allowing hot air to move northwards from Africa.

“Climate change projections say that global warming will make these events more likely, with heatwaves growing more intense, more frequent and longer-lasting.”

Spain

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Spain had its hottest June temperatures in years

Earlier this week, the EU’s earth observation programme Copernicus warned hundreds of millions of people have been impacted by these heatwaves – “with implications for health and wellbeing, agriculture and food supplies, energy prices and demand, and natural ecosystem”.

It said: “Each of these heatwave episodes is striking; either for the extreme temperatures reached locally, their duration, and/or unusually early occurrence for the season.”

Copernicus added that while these heatwaves were exceptional, they are not unexpected – and they are set to continue as the climate continues to warm globally.

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Why heatwaves are getting worse

Read more:

High stakes, heroes and villains: Tom Heap on our fight to avoid catastrophic climate change

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Back in the UK, provisional figures from the Met Office show the average mean temperature for June 2022 was 13.9C (57F) – 0.6C higher than the long-term average between 1991 and 2020.

So far, not a single month in 2022 has delivered a mean temperature that is below average – and the period from January to June has been in the top five warmest for the UK in a series from 1884.

Dr Mark McCarthy of the National Climate Information Centre said: “This doesn’t mean that cooler months won’t still occur, such is the natural variability of the UK climate, but a warming trend for the UK over a longer period is consistent with what we’ve seen in our climate figures.”

Watch the Daily Climate Show at 3.30pm Monday to Friday on Sky News, the Sky News website and app, on YouTube and Twitter.

The show investigates how global warming is changing our landscape and highlights solutions to the crisis.

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