April Extends World’s Record-Breaking Temperature Streak to 11 Straight Months

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The planet just had its hottest April ever recorded, extending a streak of 11 consecutive record-setting months, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

The monthly bulletin from C3S said the average global temperature was 1.61 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average — the highest for a 12-month period. It was also 0.73 degrees Celsius above the average from 1991 to 2020.

“El Niño peaked at the beginning of the year and the sea surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific are now going back towards neutral conditions. However, whilst temperature variations associated with natural cycles like El Niño come and go, the extra energy trapped into the ocean and the atmosphere by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases will keep pushing the global temperature towards new records,” said C3S Director Carlo Buontempo in the report.

For months, ocean surface temperatures broke records as well, leading scientists to ask whether a tipping point due to human activity had been reached, reported Reuters.

“I think many scientists have asked the question whether there could be a shift in the climate system,” said Julien Nicolas, senior climate scientist at C3S, as Reuters reported.

Zeke Hausfather, Berkeley Earth research scientist, has estimated that there is a 66 percent chance this year will be the hottest ever recorded, and a 99 percent likelihood of it being the second hottest, reported CNN. Hausfather added that the best estimate is that the global average temperature for 2024 will be a little higher than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Regions in eastern Europe had temperatures that were the most above average for April 2024, the C3S report said. Iceland and Fennoscandia saw temperatures that were below average.

Other than Europe, most of Africa, parts of South America, eastern Asia, Greenland, the northern and northeastern portions of North America and the northwestern parts of the Middle East saw temperatures that were the most above average for the month.

“The El Niño in the eastern equatorial Pacific continued to weaken towards neutral conditions, but marine air temperatures in general remained at an unusually high level,” C3S said. “This is the thirteenth month in a row that the SST [(sea surface temperature)] has been the warmest in the ERA5 data record for the respective month of the year.”

While the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement has not been officially overshot — the target refers to an average temperature for the planet over a period of decades — some scientists think the goal is already out of reach and that governments should be focusing on reducing carbon emissions as quickly as possible, Reuters reported.

“At what point do we declare we’ve lost the battle to keep temperatures below 1.5? My personal opinion is we’ve already lost that battle, and we really need to think very seriously about keeping below 2C and reducing our emissions as fast as we can,” said Newcastle University climate scientist Hayley Fowler, as reported by Reuters.

This article originally appeared on EcoWatch and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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This article originally appeared on EcoWatch and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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