Currently — July 20th, 2022

The weather, currently.

The European heat wave peaked on Tuesday, with a new national temperature record set in the UK — 40.3 deg C (104.5 deg F) — the latest catastrophic extreme weather event in a litany of evidence that the world has entered the emergency phase of climate change.

Although Tuesday’s temperatures in Britain were the culmination of the heat wave, scorching temperatures, deadly wildfires, and even rapid glacial collapses in the Alps have been accelerating over recent days. More than 1,700 people have died so far this month in Spain and Portugal due to the heat, with more likely to come. Simultaneous extreme weather events around the world — from Kenya to Kyrgyzstan — proves that this particular heat wave isn’t a fluke.

The previously hottest temperature ever recorded in the United Kingdom was 38.7 deg C (101.7 deg F) on July 25th in 2019 at the Cambridge Botanic Gardens. At least 34 cities broke that mark on Tuesday.

Read our full story on the UK heat wave and its climate context.

—Eric Holthaus

What you need to know, currently.

The June 2022 Global Climate Report came out a few days ago.

The report said that the global surface temperature for June 2022, which was 0.87°C (1.57°F) above the 20th century average, was the sixth-highest for June, in the 143-year-long recorded history. This month was also 0.08°C (0.14°F) cooler than the warmest June on record, which was in 2019.

June had some very warm temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere with several places across Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa experiencing daily maximum temperatures over 35°C (95°F), with some places reaching 50°C (122°F) during the first week of the month. North America and Africa had their seventh and tenth-warmest June on record, respectively.

The extreme heat that suffocated much of Asia, and now Europe, led to both continents having their second-warmest recorded June as well.

—Aarohi Sheth