Climate: 11 consecutive months with temperature records

O.D.
English Section / 9 mai

Climate: 11 consecutive months with temperature records

Versiunea în limba română

It has become a habit that almost every month we experience is the warmest on record. All we have to do is set every record. April 2024 was no exception. The world just had its warmest April on record, extending an 11-month streak in which each month set a temperature record, the European Union's climate change monitoring service announced. Every month since June 2023 has ranked as the warmest ever recorded on the planet, compared to the corresponding month in previous years, the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said in a monthly bulletin. Including April, the global average temperature was the highest ever recorded for a 12-month period - 1.61 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial 1850-1900 average. Some of the extremes on record - including months with record sea surface temperatures - have prompted scientists to investigate whether human activity has now triggered a tipping point in the climate system.

"I think a lot of scientists have wondered if there could be a change in the climate system," said Julien Nicolas, senior climate researcher at C3S. Greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels are the main cause of climate change. In recent months, the natural phenomenon El Nino, which warms the surface waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean, has also increased temperatures. Scientists have already confirmed that climate change caused some specific extreme weather events in April, including a heat wave in the Sahel linked to potentially thousands of deaths. Hayley Fowler, a climate researcher at Newcastle University, said the data showed the world was dangerously close to breaching the 2015 Paris Agreement goal 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? My personal view is that we have already lost this battle and that we need to think very seriously about keeping below 2C and reducing emissions as quickly as possible." she said. Countries agreed on the 1.5C target at a UN climate summit in 2015. This is the level scientists say would avoid the most disastrous consequences of warming, such as deadly heat, floods and irreversible loss of ecosystems.

Technically, the 1.5C target has not yet been missed, as it refers to a global average temperature over decades. But some scientists said the target could no longer be realistically met and urged governments to cut CO2 emissions faster to limit overshooting the target. The C3S data set dates back to 1940, which the researchers cross-checked with other data to confirm that last month was the warmest April since pre-industrial times.

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