The hottest temperature ever recorded
India has just recorded its hottest temperature ever, keeping 2016 well on track to be the warmest year in history.
Temperatures in the Indian city of Phalodi, Rajasthan, jumped to a searing 51 degrees Celsius (123.8 F) on Thursday, topping a previous record of 50.6 Celsius set in 1956 in Alwar.
India, currently experiencing a severe heatwave, joins Cambodia and Laos as three countries which have recorded its hottest temperatures yet after a report by NASA predicted 2016 could be the hottest year ever recorded.
India’s Metrological Department’s director B.P.Yadav said, “Yesterday [Thursday] was the hottest temperature ever recorded in the country… 51 degrees in Phalodi.”
Temperatures in northern India regularly hit the high 40s in May and June, the hottest months of the year, but topping 50 degrees is unusual.
In neighbouring Pakistan, conditions have not been any less forgiving after the Weather Channel reported temperatures in the city of Jacobabad peaked at 51.5 Celsius (124.7 F) on Thursday.
Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia have also come close to setting new record national heat records.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States said that last month was the hottest April in modern history.
It added, “This marks the 12th consecutive month the monthly global temperature record has been broken, the longest such streak in the 137-year record.”
According to NASA, 15 of the last 16 years have been the warmest on record and experts say global warming is at least partially to blame for a number of environmental disasters around the world, from the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef to the wildfires raging across Canada.
Last year marked the hottest on record, beating 2014 which previously held the title, but it now seems 2016 may break that mark by a big margin.
The World Bank said earlier this week that the global community is not prepared for a swift increase in climate change-related natural disasters such as floods and droughts, which will put 1.3 billion people at risk, by 2050.