2024International News

New Global Heat Record Set for 10th Straight Month

Samira Ali

Staff Writer

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As global temperatures continue to rise at an astronomical rate, the world has just endured yet another alarming milestone: the 10th hottest month on record, according to Al Jazeera. On Tuesday, April 9, The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), shared that March 2024 was the warmest March on record, marking the 10th consecutive month of record-breaking heat and rising sea surface temperatures. As Earth continues to smash records, climate change becomes increasingly undeniable, further sparking demands from scientists and governments alike for the global society to reduce its production of greenhouse emissions. 

According to the data collected by C3S, March recorded an average temperature of 14.14 degrees Celsius ,57.9 degrees Fahrenheit, says CNBC. This was 0.1 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous record set in 2016. Additionally, the month’s temperatures exceeded those of an average March during the pre-industrial era, from 1850-1900, with temperatures reaching minus 1.58 degrees Celsius (34.5 F) above pre-industrial averages. This marks March 2024’s record as the culmination of the hottest 12-month period ever documented says Al Jazeera. Since June, Earth has consistently broken monthly heat records, leading to widespread heat waves that have affected large areas of the planet’s oceans. This phenomenon is primarily attributed to the diminishing El Nino effect.

Despite a weakening El Niño, the climatic event that warms the central Pacific, which inherently changes global weather patterns, ocean surface temps are continuing to soar, reports Al Jazeera. These changes in combination with atmospheric heat waves are highly concerning. The ocean covers 70 percent of the planet, its usual functions maintain a livable climate as it absorbs 90 percent of excess heat. However, when temperatures are thrown off, warmer oceans produce more moisture in the atmosphere, inciting extreme and atypical weather patterns. These sea conditions also increase the danger of mass coral bleaching, which has devastating effects on marine life internationally. In fact, March marked one of the most extreme coral bleaching events of the southern hemisphere, one of the worst in history. With these events unfolding, agricultural supply chains and prices have been under intense strains, offering a bleak glimpse into the potential future of global food security. 

These statistics emerge as nations across the globe grapple with catastrophic climate disasters. Greenland and Antarctica are currently enduring soaring temperatures, exacerbating concerns about glacial melting and historic sea level rising. Meanwhile, countries such as Brazil and France have been faced with torrential downpours and widespread flooding. 

Throughout the Amazon, nations such as Colombia and Venezuela are witnessing abnormally prolonged dry periods and wildfire says Reuters, further threatening the region’s biodiversity and ecological integrity. Simultaneously, vast regions of Africa are experiencing drought which has led to severe food shortages and a widespread humanitarian crisis, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS), an program by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization.

While March’s record-breaking heat is worrisome, it is not as groundbreaking as previous months’ records, which crushed records by more significant margins. The occurrence of these disastrous circumstances has caused an uproar amongst scientists who state that something must be done quickly to reverse the effects of greenhouse gases. They highlight that the state of our rapidly warming planet is directly correlated to our high concentration and production of greenhouse gases. They state that we must halt the burning of non-renewable energy, deforestation, and pollution, while also allocating funding towards sustainable alternatives. In particular, governments must work collectively to implement sustainable agriculture, reforestation, and green energy sources throughout their nations equitably, reports The Associated Press

As governments are scrambling to combat global warming, more people are looking to creative solutions at the household level to do their part. ABC News recommends planting trees and other greenery, reducing food waste, and conserving energy.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

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