Twelve Straight Months of Record-breaking Temperatures

Jun 5, 2024

‘We’re shattering global temperature records and reaping the whirlwind,’ UN secretary-general says.

The planet has experienced an unprecedented streak of record-breaking temperatures, with May marking the 12th consecutive month that set a new monthly temperature record. According to the European Union’s Copernicus climate monitoring service, the global average temperature for the last 12 months reached a record-breaking 1.63°C above the pre-industrial average.

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed grave concern over this alarming trend and urged immediate action from world leaders and corporations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase climate finance, and curb the fossil fuel industry. Scientists have identified El Niño as a contributing factor, but the primary driver is human-induced climate change from burning fossil fuels.

Projections indicate that the world is likely to face even hotter temperatures in the next five years, with an 80% chance that the annual average global temperature will exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels in at least one of those years. This temporary breach does not mean the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement is permanently lost, but it underscores the urgency of taking action to mitigate climate change impacts such as extreme weather events, which are already being observed worldwide.

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