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08/05/24 | 9:48 am

Hottest April on record, as climate change drives 11-month streak

The world just experienced its hottest April on record, extending an 11-month streak in which each month was the hottest recorded month on record, said the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) in a monthly bulletin.

Scientists have already confirmed climate change caused some specific weather extremes in April – including a heatwave in the Sahel linked to potentially thousands of deaths.

Heatwaves also affected many Asian countries, with governments opting to close schools in the Philippines and Cambodia to protect student health, while heat also reached dangerous temperatures across India and Bangladesh.

In the 12 months ending with April, the world’s average temperature was the highest on record for a 12-month period, at 1.61 degrees Celsius above the average in the 1850-1900 pre-industrial period.

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

Countries agreed the 1.5C goal at a U.N. climate summit in 2015. It is the level scientists say would avoid the most disastrous consequences of warming, like fatal heat, flooding and the irreversible loss of ecosystems.

Technically, the 1.5C target has not yet been missed, as the it refers to an average global temperature over decades. But some scientists have said the goal can no longer realistically be met, and have urged governments to cut CO2 emissions faster to limit overshoot of the target.


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