Earth records highest temperatures in last 12 months

"For the past year, every turn of the calendar has turned up the heat," says UN secretary general

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A person cools off his head with water from a fountain in Piazza del Popolo in Rome, Italy. — AFP/File

The Earth’s series of record-breaking temperatures has carried on for a whole year as May turned out to be the 12th consecutive month setting a new temperature marker.

At 1.63°C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average, the global average temperature for the last 12 months turned out to be the highest on record in total, according to new data from Copernicus, the European Union's climate monitoring service, reported CBC.

"For the past year, every turn of the calendar has turned up the heat," stated United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to coincide with the release of the findings. He said this in prepared remarks released ahead of a Wednesday news conference in New York City.

To slash greenhouse gas emissions over the next 18 months, Guterres called on world leaders and corporations to take “urgent action”, boost climate finance and "clamp down on the fossil fuel industry."

"Our planet is trying to tell us something. But we don't seem to be listening. We're shattering global temperature records and reaping the whirlwind. It's climate crunch time. Now is the time to mobilise, act and deliver,” he added.

At the rate of warming over the past year, scientists have expressed alarm.

Notably, El Niño, which is a cyclical and natural ocean variability in the Pacific Ocean, has resulted in the rise in temperatures, as per the experts.

However, a reduction in shipping pollution, which can give out heat back into space, is also likely to be a contributing factor. Consequently, scientists continue to debate the extent of its contribution.