Data collected from around the world suggests that June 2017 was the third hottest since records began, only beaten by 2015 and 2016.

The US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa)'s figures suggest that average temperatures on the surface of both land and sea were 0.82C above the 20th century average, making it the 41st consecutive June to exceed that level.

Data released by NASA has June 2017 as the fourth-hottest ever, as it collects its information using different methods.  However, NASA's data also shows that January - June 2017 was the second hottest ever, beaten into second place only by the same period in 2016.

Climate scientists believe that based on current trends, global average temperatures will reach 1.5C above pre-industrial levels (the target set by the 2015 Paris Agreement)  at some point in the 2040s.  Experts are recommending more rapid cuts to greenhouse gas emissions than have so far been introduced if we wish to limit global average temperatures in coming years to 2C above pre-industrial levels.   2C over pre-industrial levels is widely seen as the limit if we wish to prevent severe global impacts from climate change.

Photo by Biodiversity International