C3S report: April 11th warmest month in row

C3S report: April 11th warmest month in row
12 / 05 / 2024
By Marwa Nassar - -

April 2024 is the warmest April on record – the eleventh month in a row of record global temperatures, according to Europe’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). Sea surface temperatures have been record high for the past 13 months.

The monthly report highlights the extraordinary duration of record temperatures fuelled by the naturally occurring El Niño event and the additional energy trapped in the atmosphere and ocean by greenhouse gases from human activities. A similar streak happened previously during the strong El Niño event of 2015/2016.

April 2024 had an average surface air temperature of 15.03°C, 0.67°C above the 1991-2020 average for April and 0.14°C above the previous high set in April 2016, according to the ERA5 dataset from Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Commission.

The month was 1.58°C warmer than an estimate of the April average for 1850-1900, the designated pre-industrial reference period, according to the ERA5 dataset. Monthly breaches of 1.5°C do not mean that the world has failed to achieve the Paris Agreement’s temperature goal, which refers to a long-term temperature increase over decades.

The record temperatures were accompanied by high-impact weather events – including intense heat in many parts of Asia, drought in southern Africa and extreme rainfall in the Arabian peninsula. Persistent heavy rainfall in East Africa and southern Brazil has worsened in the first week of May, leading to devastating and deadly floods.

“The high number of extreme weather and climate events (including record daily and monthly temperatures and rainfall amounts) are more likely in a warmer world,” said WMO climate expert Alvaro Silva.

“The sea surface temperature in several ocean basins, including in the tropical belt, continues to be record high, releasing more heat and moisture to the atmosphere and thus exacerbating conditions,” he said.

The El Niño in the eastern equatorial Pacific continued to weaken towards neutral conditions, but marine air temperatures in general remained at an unusually high level. 

The global sea surface temperature averaged for April 2024 over 60°S–60°N was 21.04°C, the highest value on record for the month, marginally below the 21.07°C recorded for March 2024, according to C3S.

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