Last month was the hottest April on record globally – and the seventh month in a row to have broken global temperature records.
• The latest figures smashed the previous record for April by the largest margin ever recorded.
• It makes three months in a row that the monthly record has been broken by the largest margin ever, and seven months in a row that are at least 1C above the 1951-80 mean for that month.
• Figures released by Nasa over the weekend show the global temperature of land and sea was 1.11degree celcius warmer in April than the average temperature for April during the period 1951-1980.
• The new record broke the previous one by 0.24C, which was set in 2010, at 0.87C above the baseline average for April. That record itself broke one set three years earlier at 0.75C above the baseline average for April.
• The current blast of hot air around the globe is being spurred by a massive El Niño, which is a release of warm water across the Pacific Ocean. But it’s not the biggest El Niño on record and that spike in temperatures is occurring over a background of rapid global warming, pushing temperatures to all-time highs.
• The record temperatures were wreaking havoc with ecosystems around the world. They’ve triggered the third recorded global coral bleaching, and in Australia 93% of the reefs have been affected by bleaching along the 2,300km Great Barrier Reef. In the northern parts of the reef, it’s expected the majority of coral is dead, and on some reefs over 90% of the coral is dying.