April is the seventh month in a streak of record breaking temperatures, reports Market Watch. The article, which uses data from the NASA and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States, says that last month was the hottest April on record, with an average global temperature increase of 1.11 °C over the 1951-1980 average. April 2016 is also the third month in a row to break temperature records for the biggest margin ever.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
The effects of temperature rises are already being felt around the world. 93% of Australia's Great Barrier Reef has been affected by bleaching, which can be deadly if the sudden surge of temperatures does not die down. While this can be mitigated by changing conditions, it is expected that this natural wonder will not recover. Further implications of global warming can be seen in this article.
For the full piece by Market Watch, please read below:
GLOBAL WARMING RECORD STREAK HITS SEVEN MONTHS IN APRIL
If April felt unusually warm, that’s because it was.
The string of record-breaking global temperatures recorded this year continued last month, according to the latest figures from NASA.
It was the hottest April on record, the data showed, with the average temperature 1.11 degrees Celsius warmer than average for the period stretching from 1951 to 1980, a period NASA uses as a base reference point.
It was the seventh straight month of temperatures breaking global records and the third straight month that the record has been broken by the biggest margin ever, according to NASA.
The April temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 18th warmest at 53.2 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2.2 degrees above the average through the 20th century, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“Record warm minimum temperatures were observed in the Northwest [of the U.S.], while much-below-average minimum temperatures occurred in parts of the Northeast,” the NOAA said in its latest report.
By state, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington all had temperatures that were well above average. The East Coast had mostly near-average temperatures in the month, while parts of the Northeast and Midwest had below-average temperatures.
Meanwhile, the temperature in Alaska was a record 33.3 degrees Fahrenheit, a full 10 degrees above the 1925 to 2000 average and 0.4 degrees above the previous all time high set in 1940.
“Anchorage had its warmest April on record with a temperature of 43.5°F, 2.8°F warmer than the previous record set just last year,” said the report. “Parts of the Yukon River observed the earliest ice break up on record and Fairbanks observed a record-early ‘green up,’ or start of the vegetation growing season.”
The world is currently in the midst of an El Niño event, a weather phenomenon that is triggered by warm water in the Pacific that causes higher temperatures and above-average precipitation.
Warmer sea temperatures are creating a host of problems and hurting some of the world’s greatest natural wonders, including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Last month, a report found that as much of 93% of the reef has been damaged by coral bleaching, which occurs when warmer-than-usual water causes the invertebrate to expel a symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae. That algae normally lives mostly inside coral tissue and provides much of its vibrant color, according to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
Without zooxanthellae, the coral’s tissue becomes transparent and its white skeleton is revealed. If the heat stress is sustained, the coral begins to starve and will eventually die. It can be saved if conditions return to normal, and local weather conditions such as clouds or strong wave action can mitigate the effects. But reefs with high levels of bleaching can take many years or decades to recover, and there is concern that the Great Barrier Reef will never be the same again.