Since June 2023, the heat record has been continuously broken every month

The world (and) lived it April’s “excellent” temperatures whom monthly temperature records were recorded according to their latest data, both on the ground and on the surface of the oceans European Copernicus Observatoryreleased today.

El Niño, a natural climate phenomenon, “continued to weaken,” leaving the possibility of lower temperatures later this year, but no change in the underlying trend, warming caused by the massive burning of fossil fuels (gasoline, oil, gas). , coal).

Again above 1.5 °C

Since June 2023, the heat record has been continuously broken every month.

April 2024 was no exception to the norm, with an average temperature of 15.03°C, in other words, 1.58 degrees warmer than any normal April in the pre-industrial era (1850-1900).

“Although unusual, such a series of monthly records was already observed in 2015-2016,” the Copernicus service emphasizes, which lasted for 15 months.

Over the past 12 months, the planet’s temperature has averaged 1.61°C higher than pre-industrial levels, higher than the Paris Agreement (2015) goal of keeping temperature increase below 1.5°C. However, this anomaly must be recorded for decades to be considered that the climate has crossed this absolutely critical threshold.

Julien Nicolas, climatologist of the European Agency, emphasizes that in any case, “it is clear how remarkable the global temperature conditions are”. climate change Copernicus (C3S), in AFP.

Last month was the second warmest month on record in Europe, along with March and the winter season as a whole.

Contrasts

Each additional degree of increase in global temperature is accompanied by “more severe and more likely extreme climate events”, reminds Julien Nicolas, as the last few weeks have been marked by extreme heat waves in Asia, India and Vietnam. Southern Brazil and other regions were hit by extremely deadly floods.

In terms of rainfall, the climate change agency Copernicus did not draw clear conclusions about April trends. The month was wetter than normal in much of Europe, but drier than normal in the southern part of the continent.

The same contrast is observed outside Europe: excessive rains have caused widespread flooding in much of North America, Central and East Asia, the Gulf, and southern Brazil. On the contrary, drought prevailed in northern Mexico, around the Caspian Sea, as well as in a large part of Australia.

Oceans: The Little Loop

Ocean surface temperatures also set a record for April, compared to previous records, except at the poles. This is the thirteenth month in a row that the record has been set.

This warming threatens marine life, increases humidity in the atmosphere, and threatens the critical role of the oceans in absorbing man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

However, the sea surface temperature recorded a slight decrease compared to March and its all-time record (21.04°C from 21.07°C).

El Nino is weakening

The Copernicus Observatory notes that the natural climate phenomenon El Nino “continued to weaken” in April and the situation “moved towards neutral conditions”.

This phenomenon occurs in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and contributes to global warming.

Julien Nicolas explained that El Niño “peaked at the beginning of the year”, which probably explains the slightly lower average temperature in April compared to March.

“Model forecasts indicate a possible transition to La Nina conditions (the phenomenon) in the second half of the year,” but “conditions are still quite uncertain,” the climatologist said.

La Niña is the opposite of El Niño—it causes global temperatures to drop—but the end of El Niño does not necessarily mean that temperatures will stop rising, or that global warming will slow down.

“This phenomenon adds to long-term trends that are persistent and directly related to warming, increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and especially the amount of heat absorbed and stored in the oceans.” Mr. Nicholas noted.

2024, the year of new records?

Carlo Buodembo, director of C3S, warns that these trends “continue to push global temperatures towards new records”.

At the end of March, the UN had already warned that there was a “high probability” of record temperatures in 2024, while 2023 would complete a decade of record heat and push the Earth into “flight”.

For Julien Nicolas of the Copernicus Agency, given that 2023 was a great year, it is “still a bit early” to predict that records will not be broken again this year.

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