April 2024 Warmest Ever, Says European Climate Agency As Temperature Records Topple

It was also the eleventh consecutive month of record-high temperatures, a result of the combined effect of now weakening El Nino and human-caused climate change, the European Union's climate agency Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said.

World experiences the warmest April ever

The world experienced the warmest April ever, with record heat, rain, and flooding crippling normal life in many countries, according to new data released on Wednesday.

It was also the eleventh consecutive month of record-high temperatures, a result of the combined effect of now weakening El Nino and human-caused climate change, the European Union's climate agency Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said.

The average temperature of 15.03 degrees Celsius in April was 1.58 degrees Celsius higher than the month's average for 1850-1900, the designated pre-industrial reference period.

It was 0.67 degrees Celsius above the 1991-2020 average for April and 0.14 degrees Celsius above the previous high set in April 2016.

"El Nino peaked at the beginning of the year, and the sea surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific are now going back towards neutral conditions. However, while temperature variations associated with natural cycles like El Nino come and go, the extra energy trapped in the ocean and the atmosphere by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases will keep pushing the global temperature towards new records," Carlo Buontempo, Director of C3S, said.

The global average temperature for the past 12 months (May 2023-April 2024) is the highest recorded, at 0.73 degrees Celsius above the 1991-2020 average and 1.61 degrees Celsius above he 1850-1900 pre-industrial average, the climate agency said.

According to C3S, the global average temperature breached the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold for an entire year for the first time in January.

A permanent breach of the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit specified in the Paris Agreement, however, refers to long-term warming over many years.

According to climate scientists, countries need to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Earth's global surface temperature has already increased by around 1.15 degrees Celsius compared to the average in 1850-1900 due to the rapidly increasing concentration of greenhouse gases -- primarily carbon dioxide and methane -- in the atmosphere.

This warming is considered the reason behind record droughts, wildfires, and floods worldwide.

According to a recent study by scientists at Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the impact of climate events could cost the global economy around USD 38 trillion a year by 2049, with countries least responsible for the problem and having minimum resources to adapt to impacts suffering the most.

Globally, 2023 was the warmest year in the 174-year observational record, with the global average temperature at 1.45 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial baseline (1850-1900).

The warming may set a new record in 2024 as scientists say El Nino -- periodic warming of the ocean surface in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean -- typically has the greatest impact on global climate in the second year of its development.

El Nino continued to weaken towards neutral conditions, but marine air temperatures in general remained at an unusually high level in April, C3S scientists said.?

The world is witnessing weather extremes under the combined effect of the 2023-24 El Nino and human-caused climate change.

A brutal heat wave in Asia prompted the temporary closure of schools in the Philippines and broke temperature records in India, which is in the middle of a 44-day general election, apart from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Myanmar. The month also saw the heaviest rain in the UAE in 75 years.

C3S scientists also said April was the thirteenth consecutive month of record-high ocean temperatures.

Global weather agencies, including the India Meteorological Department (IMD), are expecting La Nina conditions by August-September.

While El Nino conditions are associated with weaker monsoon winds and drier conditions in India, La Nina conditions -- the antithesis of El Nino -- lead to plentiful rainfall during the monsoon season.

In a mid-April update, the IMD said India would experience above-normal cumulative rainfall in the 2024 monsoon season with La Nina conditions being the dominant factor.

El Nino occurs every two to seven years on average and typically lasts nine to 12 months. The current El Nino event, which developed in June 2023, was at its strongest between November and January.

It is associated with increased rainfall in the Horn of Africa and the southern US, and unusually dry and warm conditions in Southeast Asia, Australia, and southern Africa.