April 2024 Confirmed as Warmest on Record Globally, WMO Reports

The World Meteorological Organization confirms April 2024 as the warmest April on record globally, with an average temperature 1.58°C higher than the pre-industrial reference period. The record-breaking temperatures were attributed to a combination of El Niño and increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

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Bijay Laxmi
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April 2024 Confirmed as Warmest on Record Globally, WMO Reports

April 2024 Confirmed as Warmest on Record Globally, WMO Reports

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has confirmed that April 2024 was the warmest April on record globally, with an average temperature of 15.03°C, a staggering 1.58°C higher than the pre-industrial reference period of 1850-1900. This marks the eleventh consecutive month of record-high temperatures, highlighting the alarming trend of global warming.

Why this matters: The record-breaking temperatures have severe implications for the environment, economies, and human societies, and underscore the urgent need for collective action to mitigate climate change. As global temperatures continue to rise, the frequency and intensity of extremeweather events will increase, leading to devastating consequences for vulnerable communities and ecosystems.

The record temperatures in April 2024 are attributed to a combination of factors, including the naturally occurring El Niño event and the additional energy trapped in the atmosphere and ocean by greenhouse gases from human activities. El Niño, characterized by unusual warming of waters in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, has contributed to the warmer conditions. However, as El Niño weakens towards a more neutral state, "the extra energy trapped in the atmosphere and ocean – caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases – will continue to push global temperatures towards new records," according to Carlo Buontempo, Director of the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service.

The average temperature in April 2024 was 0.67°C above the 1991-2020 average for April and 0.14°C above the previous record set in April 2016. Sea surface temperatures have also been at record highs for the past 13 months. The record temperatures were accompanied by high-impact weather events, including intense heat, drought, and extreme rainfall in various parts of the world.

Regional temperature variations were observed, with temperatures most above average over northern and northeastern North America, Greenland, eastern Asia, northwest Middle East, parts of South America, and most of Africa. India suffered repeated heatwaves in April and early May, with temperatures reaching 47.2°C in Gangetic West Bengal on April 30. Thailand and Myanmar also recorded new station temperature records, with temperatures reaching 44.1°C and 48.2°C, respectively.

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, according to 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," Silva said. Persistent heavy rainfall in East Africa and southern Brazil worsened in the first week of May, leading to devastating and deadly floods.

The confirmation of April 2024 as the warmest on record globally, with an average temperature 1.58°C higher than the pre-industrial reference period, serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing climate crisis. As greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise, driven by human activities, the world can expect to witness more frequent and intense extreme weather events, underscoring the urgent need for global action to mitigate climate change and build resilience.