Earth has now experienced an unprecedented twelve straight months of record-breaking temperatures, new data has revealed.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has found that the average surface temperature for April 2016 was 1.10°C above the 20th century average —the highest temperature departure for April since global records began in 1880.
April 2016 also marks the twelfth consecutive month that a global temperature record has been broken, the longest such streak in 137 years of record keeping.
“The temperatures we have seen over the last eighteen months have been astonishing,” Professor Will Steffen said.
“Normally when records are broken, they’re only broken by a very small amount. But what we’re seeing now is records being set by enormous amounts, month after month.
“Overall, thirteen of the fifteen highest departures from average monthly temperature have occurred since the beginning of 2015.”
Professor Steffen said world leaders were being confronted at every turn with evidence that we may be entering a new phase of warming.
“These records are an ominous sign of a climate that may be on the verge of crossing tipping points that will drive further warming.
“This should be a climate change election. Over the past months, our internationally renowned Great Barrier Reef has been devastated by the worst coral bleaching event in its history. Our world heritage ancient forests in Tasmania have been razed by bushfires sparked by tinderbox conditions driven by climate change,” he said.
“Yet our greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and records continue to be shattered both in Australia and globally.
“Climate change should be front-and-centre in this election. Over the past decade Australians have become increasingly impacted by climate change. On the other hand, climate change solutions like renewable energy and battery storage are advancing rapidly, and we have so much to gain by embracing them and transitioning away from fossil fuels..”
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