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Almost 40 degrees in the middle of spring, after the second warmest April on a global scale

Las Cabezas de San Juan (Seville), 36.5 ºC; Córdoba, airport, 36 ºC; Almonte (Huelva), 35.9 ºC… They are not midsummer temperatures but last Sunday, May 3, just in the middle of the spring of this rugged 2020. In some localities the thermometers marked even higher values but without the homologation of the official meteorological stations.

The high temperatures of the first days of May in large areas of Spain came immediately after the whole planet closed one of the warmest April months on record since almost 150 years ago records began with scientific methods.

Preliminary data from the Copernicus Climate Change System, of the European Space Agency (ESA), indicate that last month was the second April with the highest temperatures so far on record, only surpassed – and by very little – by the month of April 2016.

The local temperatures of the beginning of May and the global temperatures of the month of April could be interpreted as specific cases but they are part of an indisputable trend of global warming, which is accelerating in recent years, as climatologists repeatedly recall.

Today’s springs increasingly resemble the summers of yesteryear, at least in an important part of regions such as the Mediterranean and the whole of southern Europe. But we are not alone…

Switzerland’s meteorological service, MeteoSwiss, recorded an average April 2020 temperature for this alpine country 3ºC higher than the average for the same month between 1991-2020 and almost 5ºC warmer than the 1871-1900 average.

Météo-France, for its part, reported that last month was the third warmest April in France since 1900, according to data provided by the Copernicus service.

Outside of Europe, April 2020 temperatures were higher than average across much of Siberia, the northern and central Coast of Greenland and parts of Antarctica, the Coast of Alaska and the Arctic Ocean.

Temperatures were also well above average in Mexico, parts of central and northwestern Africa and western Australia.

Temperatures were well below average in central Canada. Several other regions of land, including parts of South and Southeast Asia, were a little colder than usual.

Data for the last 12 months

Globally, the twelve-month period from May 2019 to April 2020 was 0.65 °C warmer than the average for the same period between 1981 and 2010. The warmest twelve-month period was from October 2015 to September 2016, with a temperature of 0.66 °C above average.

2020 is on track to be on the podium of the hottest years in the recent history of the planet but, for the moment, the gold medal is still maintained in 2016, with a global average temperature of 0.63 ° C above that of the period 1981-2010.

In the absence of the final balance of this 2020, the year 2019 is the second warmest in this ranking, with a temperature 0.59 ° C above the average.

If the current temperatures are compared with those before the beginning of the industrial era (period used as a reference in various studies and international agreements counting climate change), the increase is already at 1.3 ºC, that is, very close to the 1.5 ºC indicated as a value that should not be exceeded in the IPCC Special Report on “Global warming of 1.5 °C”, as the Copernicus system now recalls.

Source: The Vanguard