20 May 2016

UN alarmed by 12th straight global monthly heat record

A laborer covers himself with a cloth to protect from the sun as he pulls a rickshaw carrying wooden logs on a hot summer afternoon in Hyderabad, India, Friday, May 20, 2016. The prolonged heat wave this year has already killed hundreds and destroyed crops in more than 13 states. The extreme heat has impacted hundreds of millions in western India with record temperatures Friday reaching as high as a scorching 51 degrees Celsius (123.8 Fahrenheit).
The United Nations has expressed alarm after scientists recorded the 12th straight global monthly heat record in a row.

The data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released Thursday confirmed earlier readings taken by NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency. They showed that Earth's average temperature in April was 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the 20th-century average.

A spokeswoman for the World Meteorological Organization said Friday "what's particularly concerning is the margin at which these records are being broken. They are not being broken, they are being smashed and on a fairly consistent basis."

Spokeswoman Clare Nullis told reporters in Geneva that while the records set last year were already alarming, "the heat that we're seeing in 2016 makes 2015 pale by comparison."