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HomeWorld newsWorld extends temperature series to 11 months with warmest April on record

World extends temperature series to 11 months with warmest April on record

The world just experienced its warmest April on record, extending an 11-month streak of setting a temperature record every month, the European Union’s climate change monitoring agency said Wednesday.

Every month since June 2023 has ranked as the warmest month on record on Earth, compared to the corresponding month in previous years, the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said in a monthly bulletin.

Including April, the world’s average temperature was the highest ever recorded over a twelve-month period: 1.61 degrees Celsius above the average in the pre-industrial period of 1850-1900.

Some extremes – including months of record-breaking sea surface temperatures – have prompted scientists to investigate whether human activity has now caused a tipping point in the climate system.

“I think a lot of scientists have been asking whether there could be a shift in the climate system,” said Julien Nicolas, senior climate scientist at C3S.

Greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels are the main cause of climate change. In recent months, the natural El Nino phenomenon, which warms surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean, has also caused temperatures to rise.

Scientists have already confirmed that climate change caused some specific weather extremes in April, including a heatwave in the Sahel that could kill thousands.

Hayley Fowler, a climate scientist at the University of Newcastle, said the data shows the world is dangerously close to breaching the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius .

“At what point do we declare that we have lost the battle to keep temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius? My personal opinion is that we have already lost that battle, and we really need to think very seriously about staying below 2 degrees Celsius and reducing our emissions as quickly as possible.” if we can,” she said.

Countries agreed on the 1.5 C target during a UN climate summit in 2015. This is the level that scientists say could avoid the most disastrous consequences of warming, such as fatal heat, flooding and the irreversible loss of ecosystems.

Technically, the 1.5 degrees Celsius target has not yet been missed, as it relates to an average global temperature over decades. But some scientists have said the target can no longer realistically be achieved, and have urged governments to cut carbon emissions more quickly to limit overshooting the target.

The C3S dataset dates back to 1940, which the scientists compared with other data to confirm that last month was the warmest April since the pre-industrial period.

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