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2024 could be the hottest year on record on the planet, scientists say

Last month was the hottest June on record, the European Union’s climate change monitoring service said on Monday, continuing a string of exceptional temperatures that some scientists say put 2024 on track to be the planet’s hottest year on record.

Every month since June 2023 — 13 months in a row — has ranked as the planet’s hottest since records began, compared with the corresponding month in previous years, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said in a monthly bulletin.

The latest data suggests 2024 could surpass 2023 as the hottest year on record after man-made climate change and the natural El Nino weather phenomenon pushed temperatures to record highs so far this year, some scientists said.

“I now estimate there is a roughly 95% chance that 2024 will surpass 2023 as the warmest year since global surface temperature records began in the mid-1800s,” said Zeke Hausfather, a research scientist at the US nonprofit Berkeley Earth.

Climate change has already triggered disastrous consequences across the world by 2024.

More than 1,000 people died in the intense heat during the hajj pilgrimage – the Muslim journey to Mecca – last month. Deaths were reported in New Delhi, the capital of India, which suffered an unprecedented heatwave, and among tourists in Greece.

Friederike Otto, a climate scientist at Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute, said there was a “very good chance” that 2024 would rank as the hottest year on record.

“El Niño is a natural phenomenon that always comes and goes. We can’t stop El Niño, but we can stop the burning of oil, gas and coal,” she said.

The natural phenomenon El Nino, which warms surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean, tends to increase global average temperatures.

The C3S dataset goes back to 1940, and scientists cross-referenced it with other numbers to confirm that last month was the warmest June since the pre-industrial period of 1850-1900.

Greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are the main cause of climate change.

In the 12 months ending in June, the global average temperature was the highest on record for any period of its kind, 1.64 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average, C3S said.

Source: CNN Brasil

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