Technology & Science

7th monthly heat record in row smashed amid Bonn climate meeting

Governments began work on Monday on a rule book to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming, with the United Nations urging stronger action after a string of record-smashing monthly temperatures.

Paris Agreement signatories need to work out how to report, monitor national climate change plans

A NASA satellite image shows the land surface temperature in Thailand, center, and surrounding countries between April 15 to April 23, 2016. Yellow shows the warmest temperatures. This year's scorching weather has set a record for the longest heat wave in Thailand in at least 65 years. Globally, April was the 7th month in a row to break temperature records. (Reto Stockli/NASA Earth Observatory Team/MODIS Land Science Team via Associated Press)

Governments began work on Monday on a rule book to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming, with the United Nations urging stronger action after a string of record-smashing monthly temperatures.

NASA said over the weekend that last month was the warmest April in statistics dating back to the 19th century, the seventh month in a row to break temperature records.

The meeting of government experts is the first since 195 nations reached a deal in Paris in December to limit climate 
change
by shifting from fossil fuels to green energies by 2100. 

It will begin to work out the detail of the plan.

Carcasses of goats are seen near Jidhi town of Awdal region, Somaliland April 10, 2016. Across the Horn of Africa, millions have been hit by the severe El Nino-related drought. Record global temperatures in April are being blamed on El Nino, magnified by the build-up of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. (Feisel Omar/Reuters)

"The Paris Agreement represents the foundations ... Now we have to raise the walls, the roof of a common home," French Environment Minister Segolene Royal told a news conference. 

The agreement sets targets for shifting the world to green energies by 2100 but is vague, for instance, about how 
governments will report and monitor their national plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Many government delegates at the start of the May 16-26 U.N. talks, in Bonn, Germany, expressed concern about rising temperatures and extremes events such as damage to tropical coral reefs, wildfires in Canada or drought in India.

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      El Nino magnified by greenhouse gases

      "We have no other option but to accelerate" action to limit warming, Christiana Figueres, the U.N. climate chief, told a 
      news conference, asked about the NASA data.

      She said record temperatures were partly caused by a natural warming effect of an El Nino weather event in the Pacific Ocean, magnified by the build-up of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

      U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres attends a news conference during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) in Paris in December. 'We have no other option but to accelerate' Figueres told a news conference Monday. (Jacky Naegelen/Reuters)

      She said national promises for curbing greenhouse gases put the world on track for a rise in temperatures of between 2.5 and 3 C (4.5 to 5.4 Fahrenheit), well above an agreed ceiling in the Paris text of "well below" 2C (3.6F) with a target of 1.5C (2.7F).

      "Certainly we are not yet on the path" for the Paris temperature targets, she said.

      Last month, the Paris Agreement was signed by 175 governments at a New York ceremony, the most ever for an opening day of a U.N. deal, and including top emitters China and the United States.

      The agreement will enter into force once 55 nations representing 55 per cent of world emissions have formally ratified.

      Royal said she would submit a bill on Tuesday to the French National Assembly seeking ratification. 

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