Temperatures 1.5C above pre-industrial era average for 12 months

The world has baked for 12 consecutive months in temperatures 1.5C (2.7F) greater than their average before the fossil fuel era, new data shows.

Temperatures between July 2023 and June 2024 were the highest on record, scientists found, creating a year-long stretch in which the Earth was 1.64C hotter than in preindustrial times.

The findings do not mean world leaders have already failed to honour their promises to stop the planet heating 1.5C by the end of the century – a target that is measured in decadal averages rather than single years – but that scorching heat will have exposed more people to violent weather. A sustained rise in temperatures above this level also increases the risk of uncertain but catastrophic tipping points.

Carlo Buontempo, director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, which analysed the data, said the results were not a statistical oddity but a “large and continuing shift” in the climate.

“Even if this specific streak of extremes ends at some point, we are bound to see new records being broken as the climate continues to warm,” he said. “This is inevitable unless we stop adding greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and the oceans.”

Copernicus, a scientific organisation that belongs to the EU’s space programme, uses billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations to track key climate metrics. It found June 2024 was hotter than any other June on record and was the 12th month in a row with temperatures 1.5C greater than their average between 1850 and 1900.

Read the full article by the Guardian here.

Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash