April temperatures break records across the globe


Last month was the hottest April on record across the world - making it the 12th month in a row when global temperature records were broken, scientists have said.

April's temperatures over global land and sea surfaces were 1.1C (1.98F) above the 20th century average, the figures from the US government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) show.

It means global temperatures last month outstripped the long-term average for April by the biggest margin since records began in 1880.

Poppies bend towards the sun

April was also the fifth consecutive month in which monthly temperatures soared above the 20th century average by more than 1C (1.8F).

And it is the 12th month in a row that monthly global temperature records have been broken, the longest such streak in 137 years of record keeping, Noaa said.

The first four months of 2016 have been the warmest recorded January to April over land and sea, with temperatures 1.14C (2.05F) above average, beating the record set just last year.

The sun rises at Whitley Bay

The record highs have happened in the face of a powerful "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific, which pushes up global temperatures, and warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions from human activity.

The January to April period surpassed temperatures seen in the same period in 1998 - the last time a similar strength El Nino was seen during the early part of the year - by 0.45C (0.81F).

The El Nino is now weakening, with the chances of a "La Nina" - a phenomenon with lower temperatures - increasing later in the year.