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Thursday, May 23, 2024

March sets a new record for hottest global temperatures

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The European Union’s Climate Change Monitoring Service has described March 2024 as the tenth consecutive hottest month on record globally since the pre-industrial revolution began.

The latest findings were made known in the monthly Climate Bulletin of the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) published on Tuesday.

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“March 2024 is the tenth month in a row to be the hottest for the respective month in the ERA5 data record, going back to 1940,” the C3S said.

It noted that the global oceans have seen 12 consecutive months of record high surface temperatures and that the global surface air temperature for March was 14.14°C, representing about 0.73°C above the 1991-2020 average for March, and 0.10°C above the previous high set in March 2016.

The researchers said the March anomaly was slightly smaller than the 0.81°C anomaly recorded for the previous month.

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The C3S Climate Pulse Application reveals that the anomalies noticed in March were decreasing during the first days of April.

“The global average temperature in the last twelve months (April 2023 – March 2024) is the highest on record at 0.70°C above the 1991-2020 average,” the C3S said.

The C3S stated that the primary cause of the exceptional heat were human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, and that other factors pushing up temperatures include El Nino—the weather pattern that warms the surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Nigeria’s heat waves

Recently, Nigeria has been experiencing severe heat waves, with temperatures rising to about 40°C in some parts of the country, and previous weather projections showing that the situation might persist for a while.

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In February, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) predicted that temperatures would hit 41°C in the North and 39°C in the South on some days between March and May.

This, according to the agency, will result in dehydration, which could cause fainting, chickenpox, measles and heat rashes. People could also experience heat-related illnesses such as respiratory issues and increased vulnerability to chronic conditions.

In another advisory last week, the meteorological agency warned that Nigerians in Abuja, Kano, and many other northern states are likely to suffer heat strokes due to the scorching heat waves.

Heat stroke, also known as sunstroke, is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body is unable to control its temperature.

“It’s the long-term trend with exceptional records that has us very concerned,” C3S Deputy Director, Samantha Burgess, was quoted to have told Reuters.

She said: “Seeing records like this – month in, month out – really shows us that our climate is changing rapidly.”

In Nigeria, extreme weather events and exceptional temperatures have had a huge toll on the different sectors of the country’s economy, particularly the agriculture sector.

PREMIUM TIMES have on several occasions documented how fluctuating weather patterns such as heavy rainfall and drought are impacting farmers and crop production in the country.

This changing weather patterns have exposed vulnerable farmers and farming communities in the country to unimaginable losses and damages, with many struggling to cope amidst soaring inflation and plummeting incomes.

During the 2022 wet season, between August and October of that year, Nigeria witnessed one of its worst floods in a decade. Nigerian authorities said that over 600 people died and more than 1.4 million people were displaced. Similarly, several farming communities experienced severe drought conditions during last year’s planting season.

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