HomeWorldHottest April for the world continues global temperature record streak

Hottest April for the world continues global temperature record streak


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The energy being trapped in the world’s oceans and atmosphere by ever-increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases will see global temperature records continually broken in the near future, climate scientists have warned.

According to the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), last month was the warmest April on record and the 11th consecutive month in which all-time temperature records tumbled for a respective month of the year.

The average global air temperature last month was 15.03C — 0.67C above the 1991 to 2020 average for April and 0.14C above the previous record set in April 2016.

April was also 1.58C warmer than an estimate of the pre-industrial average temperature for April in the years 1850 to 1900.

This means the global average temperature for the last 12 months is now 0.73C above the 1991 to 2020 average, and 1.61C above the 1850 to 1900 pre-industrial average — beyond the 1.5C limit set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement, a treaty in which 195 nations pledged to tackle climate change.

In Europe, temperatures in April were 1.49C above the 1991 to 2020 average for the month, with temperatures “well above average” recorded in central and eastern Europe.

The C3S report states that temperatures last month were also above average in northern and northeastern North America, Greenland, eastern Asia, the northwest Middle East, parts of South America, and most of Africa.

El Niño

The report notes that though the El Niño weather event in the eastern equatorial Pacific weakened somewhat in April, marine air temperatures also remain “unusually high”.

Indeed, global sea temperatures last month reached 21.04C, marginally below the all-time record of 21.07C set in March of this year.

“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,” said C3S director Carla Buontempo.

“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.”

C3S says conditions in April were also wetter-than-average across northern Europe, eastern and southern North America, Central Asia, the Persian Gulf, east Asia, eastern Australia, and southern Brazil.

Conversely, drier-than-average conditions were seen across much of Spain, Italy, the western Balkans, Türkiye, Ukraine, southern Russia, Iceland, northern Mexico, the Tibetan Plateau, and Australia.

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