NASA temperature data shows last month was hottest April on record

The April figures continue the remarkably warm start to 2016 

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Saturday 14 May 2016 18:54 BST
The latest figures continue an unusually warm 2016
The latest figures continue an unusually warm 2016 (NASA)

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It is hot. And it is only going to get hotter.

New data released by Nasa revealed that last month was the hottest April on record.

The information released by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Saturday showed that April 2016 was the sixth month in a row to be more than one per cent above the 1951-1980 average.

The April figures continued the remarkably warm start to 2016, with each month among a handful over the most abnormally hot months in more than 130 years of global figures.

Indeed, one expert said he believed that new data due to be released next week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will show the last 12 consecutive months all broke records.

Eric Holthaus is a meteorologist who writes for Slate, told The Independent: “It’s scary. I’m at the point where I don’t know what will happen next. We knew an El Nino would impact things, but I don’t think anyone expected this jump.”

He said the increases measured by experts around the world meant that within the last year, global temperatures had increased by 25 per cent of the total increase since the 1880s.

He said the rising temperatures were having very real impacts on the environment.

He said he expected that sea ice levels will be found to be at an all time low this summer. Meanwhile, within the last 18 months, around one quarter of all coral colonies in the oceans had suffered bleaching as a result of warmer water and increased acidification.

In such circumstances, the corals expel the algae living in their tissues and turn white. While coral can recover from such events, it is very often fatal.

Mr Holthaus said he expected the record temperatures to continue for between four to six months, at which point they would begin to level out.

A vast majority of experts believe that human activity is having a serious impact on the changes in the planet's climate. The Fifth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in 2014 that there was a clear evidence human influence.

It said warming of the atmosphere and ocean system was unequivocal. Many of the associated impacts such as sea level change, had occurred since 1950 at rates unprecedented in the historical record.

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