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Montevideo, June 13th 2024 - 00:59 UTC



Climate change: March this year was the hottest ever recorded

Wednesday, April 10th 2024 - 19:26 UTC
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Photo: AFP Photo: AFP

According to a study released Wednesday by the European Climate Observatory, last month was the hottest March on record worldwide, as well as the tenth consecutive month with maximum temperatures recorded at sea since June 2023. March 2024 recorded an average of 14.14 degrees Celsius (57.9 degrees Fahrenheit), beating the previous record of 2016 by a tenth of a degree.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service also noted that the average March 2024 temperature was 1.68 °C warmer than a typical March during the pre-industrial period (1850-1900) and also topped the warmest 12-month period in history: 1.58 °C above pre-industrial averages. Although the 1.5 °C warming limit agreed at the 2015 Paris Climate Summit measured in decades has not been exceeded, “we are extraordinarily close, and already in extra time,” stressed Copernicus Deputy Director Samantha Burgess.

“The more the global atmosphere warms, the more numerous, severe, and intense the extreme events will be,” she added. ”If we continue to see this warming at the ocean surface (...) it is very likely“ that other records will be broken in the coming months, he also warned.

”We've had record-breaking months that have been even more unusual,“ Burgess also said, pointing to February 2024 and September 2023. But the ”trajectory is not going in the right direction,“ he added. This additional warmth ”we can account for much of it, but not all of it.“ He also admitted that ”2023 is within the range predicted by climate models, but really at the outer limit.”

In March, global sea surface temperatures averaged 21.07 degrees Celsius (69.93 degrees Fahrenheit), the highest monthly value on record and slightly higher than in February. “It's incredibly unusual,” Burgess continued. “We need more ambitious global action to ensure we can get to net zero as soon as possible,” she added.

A strong El Niño added to the climate crisis: “Their combination with unnatural marine heat waves made these records so impressive,” said Woodwell Climate Research Center scientist Jennifer Francis.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that the world is likely to exceed 1.5 °C by the early 2030s.

Categories: Environment, International.

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