World marks new Global Heat record in March – Reuters

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According to Reuters, the world has just witnessed its warmest March on record, concluding a 10-month streak during which each month set a new temperature record, as stated by the European Union’s climate change monitoring service on Tuesday.

The EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) reported in a monthly bulletin that the last 10 months have consistently ranked as the hottest on record globally compared to corresponding months in previous years.

Moreover, the 12 months ending with March also marked the hottest 12-month period ever recorded on the planet, with the global average temperature being 1.58 degrees Celsius above the average in the 1850-1900 pre-industrial period, as per C3S.

Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of C3S, told Reuters, “It’s the long-term trend with exceptional records that has us very concerned,” emphasizing the rapid pace of climate change.

Reuters reports that the C3S dataset, which dates back to 1940, was cross-checked with other data to confirm that last month was the hottest March since the pre-industrial period. Notably, 2023 was already recorded as the hottest year on the planet in global records tracing back to 1850.

Extreme weather and unprecedented temperatures have caused widespread devastation this year, Reuters adds.

Climate change-induced drought in the Amazon rainforest region led to a record number of wildfires in Venezuela from January to March, while Southern Africa grappled with drought, resulting in crop failures and leaving millions facing food shortages.

Additionally, marine scientists cautioned last month that a mass coral bleaching event, likely the worst in history, is unfolding in the Southern Hemisphere due to warming waters.

C3S attributed the exceptional heat primarily to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, Reuters states. Other factors contributing to the temperature rise include El Niño, the weather pattern that warms the surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Although El Niño reached its peak in December-January and is now weakening, which may alleviate the hot streak towards the year’s end, Reuters mentions that despite this, the world’s average sea surface temperature hit a record high for any month on record, and marine air temperatures remained unusually elevated, according to C3S.

Friederike Otto, a climate scientist at Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute, emphasized to Reuters that the main driver of warming is fossil fuel emissions.

Failure to curb these emissions, Otto warned, will lead to further warming of the planet, resulting in more severe droughts, wildfires, heatwaves, and heavy rainfall.