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Global heat streak continues as April breaks record temperatures

At this rate, 2024 is on track to beat 2023 as the warmest year on record, according to the data.
Rice seedlings growing on dry, barren fields.
Posted at 3:22 PM, May 08, 2024

Last month was the hottest April on record, marking the 11th month in a row that has broken global heat records, scientists said on Wednesday.

The new data from Copernicus, the European Union’s environmental observation program, showed that April was about 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average temperatures for the month between 1991 and 2020.

At this rate, 2024 is on track to beat 2023 as the warmest year on record, according to the data.

Throughout the month, temperatures were above average in eastern Europe, northern and northeastern North America, Greenland, eastern Asia, northwest Middle East, parts of South America and most of Africa, the report stated.

The ongoing El Niño, defined as a temporary warming of the equatorial Pacific that affects weather worldwide, is continuing to weaken toward neutral conditions, the report said. However, marine air temperatures “remained at an unusually high level.”

Scientists said global ocean heat in April also broke records for the 13th consecutive month. Surface temperatures reached 69.9 Fahrenheit — the highest ever for the month of April.

Warmer sea temperatures leads to the bleaching of coral reefs, seen here in the Great Barrier Reef.

Climate Change

Ocean temperatures are warmer than ever. Is the damage reversible?

Taylor O'Bier
3:14 PM, Mar 20, 2024

Warm waters are a big concern for the livelihood of the ocean’s coral reefs, which NASA describes as one of the most important ecosystems in the world.

Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed a fourth mass coral bleaching event on record, marking the second in the last decade.

Coral bleaching does not necessarily mean corals will die, but the impacts on a widespread scale can be devastating, NOAA said.