PARIS, France (AFP) — Last month tied 2016 for the hottest April on record worldwide, with particularly high temperatures over western Europe and north-central Asia, the European Union’s climate monitoring network said Tuesday.
Temperatures were also well above average over parts of Greenland and Antarctica, accelerating the disintegration of kilometers-thick ice sheets that have become the main drivers of sea level rise, the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) reported. April 2020 was a statistically insignificant 0.01 degrees Celsius cooler than the same month in 2016, the warmest April registered since the late 19th century, when reliable records began.
“The average temperature for the 12 months to April 2020 is close to 1.3C above the pre-industrial level,” the benchmark by which global warming is often measured, Copernicus said. Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nearly 200 countries have pledged to cap the rise in Earth average surface temperature to “well below” 2C, and to 1.5C if possible.
The country that probably saw the warmest April compared to the past was Switzerland, where the thermometer last month rose a blistering 5C above the 1871-1900 average.