June 2023 was Scotland and the UK’s hottest on record, the Met Office has confirmed.
The average mean temperature of 15.8C for June 2023 in the UK is the highest in a series since 1884, according to provisional figures.
Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland all reported their respective warmest Junes on record – with Scotland hitting 14.3C.
The temperature eclipsed the previous record by 0.9C, while the previous top three Junes separated by just 0.1C.
“It’s officially the hottest June on record for the UK, for mean temperature as well as average maximum and minimum temperature,” said the Met Office’s Mark McCarthy.
“What’s striking is the persistent warmth for much of the month, with temperatures widely into the mid 20s Celsius for many and even into the low 30s at times.”
The North Atlantic, including waters around Scotland, has been experiencing record-breaking temperatures of its own in June, which has played an underlying role in the land-based temperature figures, said the Met Office.
Scientific Manager Segolene Bethou said: “These settled conditions also contributed to a fast warming of the sea surface around the British Isles: a severe marine heatwave was declared mid-June (NOAA – Category 4).
“Provisional findings from the Met Office suggest this marine heatwave in turn amplified land temperatures even further to the record levels seen during the month.”
What impact has climate change had?
“We found that the chance of observing a June beating the previous joint 1940/1976 record of 14.9C has at least doubled since the 1940s,” said Paul Davies, Met Office climate extremes principal fellow and chief meteorologist.
“Alongside natural variability, the background warming of the Earth’s atmosphere due to human induced climate change has driven up the possibility of reaching record high temperatures.
“Using our UKCP18 climate projections, we can also see that there is a difference in the frequency of these sort of extremes depending on the emissions scenario we follow in the future. By the 2050s the chance of surpassing the previous record of 14.9C could be as high as around 50%, or every other year.
“Beyond the 2050s the likelihood is strongly governed by our emissions of greenhouse gasses, with the chance increasing further in a high emissions scenario but levelling off under mitigation.”