WASHINGTON, May 15 (UPI) -- April 2016 was the hottest April on record on Earth and the seventh consecutive month of this year to be among the hottest on record.
New NASA data, released over the weekend, showed April broke the previous record for the month and increases the likelihood that 2016 will also be easily the hottest year on record.
The data also showed that April was the third month in a row that record temperatures were reached by the largest increases yet, in fact, it was the seventh consecutive month that was at least 1 full degree centigrade over the 1951 to 1980 mean for April.
Since February, climate scientists have begun referring to the trends as a "climate emergency," being given an extra boost by the current large El Nino system over the Pacific Ocean.
"The interesting thing is the scale at which we're breaking records," said Andy Pitman, director of Australia's ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of New South Wales. "It's clearly all heading in the wrong direction. Climate scientists have been warning about this since at least the 1980s. And it's been bloody obvious since the 2000s. So where's the surprise?"
Meteorologist Eric Holthaus said the increases mean all-time lows will be found this summer in sea ice, as well as greater bleaching of coral colonies, an often fatal event for colonies.
In 2014, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said there was clear evidence of human influence, the effects of which have been increasing since 1950 at unprecedented rates.