For the seventh consecutive month, global temperatures have hit new record highs. Temperatures in April were 1.11 degree Celsius warmer this year than the average April temps for 1951-1980, according to a new NASA report. The duration of the warming trend suggests that 2016 may wind up being the hottest year on record, a designation previously given to the year 2015.
NASA‘s global temperature records began in 1880, and since then, scientists have been studying warming patterns closely. On Saturday, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies released its latest surface temperature analysis, which shows that April’s temperatures were not just warmer than previous Aprils in history, but hotter by a large margin. The new record set last month broke the previous one by 0.24C (set in 2010), which was 0.87C above the baseline average for April.
The warming streak for the past seven months can be attributed in part to this year’s massive El Niño, which is a band of warm ocean water in the Equatorial Pacific that influences surface and air temperatures around the globe. Although the effects this year were expected to be substantial, 2016’s El Niño phase isn’t the biggest on record, and rapid global warming is also to blame for the consistent record-breaking temps.
Again, the real news here is not that April’s temperatures busted previous records, but that they did so by such a huge margin. “The interesting thing is the scale at which we’re breaking records,” Andy Pitman, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of New South Wales in Australia told the Guardian. “It’s clearly all heading in the wrong direction.”
Via The Guardian