Earth hits full year of back-to-back monthly heat records

Planet Earth hit 12 consecutive months where the global average temperature reached a record high, according to new data released on Wednesday.

In addition, last month was the hottest May on record, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

The data from European climate scientists showed that it was also the 11th consecutive month during which the global average temperature reached or eclipsed 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The global average temperature in the last 12 months was 0.75 Celsius above the 1991–2020 average and 1.63 Celsius higher than the pre-industrial average.

“It is shocking but not surprising that we have reached this 12-month streak,” C3S Director Carlo Buontempo said in a statement. “While this sequence of record-breaking months will eventually be interrupted, the overall signature of climate change remains and there is no sign in sight of a change in such a trend,”

Scientists have cautioned for some time that holding the average global temperature to no more than 1.5 Celsius above the pre-industrial average is paramount in lowering the risk of climate change.

Melting sea ice and precipitation, resulting from the planet’s increased heat, can lead to extreme weather conditions.

The C3S latest data is similar to the latest annual update from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) that there is an 80 percent likelihood of the average annual global temperature will surpass 1.5 Celsius, when compared to the industrial levels, during at least one of the next five years ahead.

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