April 2024 was hottest month on record as global temperatures hit 11-month streak

The month also brought extreme rainfall in the UAE, which endured a record-breaking storm and severe flooding

A woman shields herself from the sun during a heatwave in Bangalore, India, in April. EPA
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The world has experienced the hottest April on record, with temperatures remaining more than 1.5°C higher than the pre-industrial period.

The average surface air temperature for the month was 15.03°C, which is 0.14°C higher than the previous record set in April 2016, around the same time as a similar streak of monthly global temperature records.

The April milestone is part of a concerning trend, making the past 12 months the warmest on record, 0.73°C above the 1991-2020 average and 1.61°C higher than the pre-industrial average.

The monthly temperature record has now been beaten for 11 consecutive months.

It was more than 1.5°C warmer than the period before people started burning fossil fuels for the third consecutive month, according to the data from Copernicus, a climate change service which collates and provides information.

That is crucial because it exceeds the threshold set by the Paris Agreement to limit the deadliest effects of climate change, with a sea level rise about 10cm lower at 1.5°C than at 2°C.

El Nino, a naturally occurring weather phenomenon which occurs every few years involving the warming of sea surface temperatures, particularly in the central-east equatorial Pacific, continued to weaken “towards neutral conditions”, said Copernicus.

But marine air temperatures in general remained “at an unusually high level”.

Carlo Buontempo, director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, said: "El Nino peaked at the beginning of the year and the sea surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific are now going back towards neutral conditions.

“However, whilst temperature variations associated with natural cycles like El Nino come and go, the extra energy trapped into the ocean and the atmosphere by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases will keep pushing the global temperature towards new records."

Temperatures were most above average in eastern European regions.

Outside Europe, temperatures were most above average over northern and north-eastern North America, Greenland, eastern Asia, the north-western Middle East, parts of South America and most of Africa.

Second wave of violent storms hits Dubai

Second wave of violent storms hits Dubai

It was wetter than average in north-western, central and north-eastern Europe, as well as central, eastern and southern North America, areas of Asia, eastern Australia, southern Brazil and the Arabian Gulf, where the UAE experienced a record-breaking storm.

It was drier than average in most of southern Europe, Iceland, northern Mexico, the Caspian Sea, Tibetan Plateau and most of Australia.

Updated: May 08, 2024, 11:12 AM