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South Korea records hottest April in half-a-century

By AFP - May 08,2024 - Last updated at May 08,2024

A woman walks past air-conditioning units outside a building in Seoul on April 30 (AFP photo)

SEOUL — South Korea experienced its hottest April since comprehensive records began in 1973, the state weather agency said on Tuesday, with average daily temperatures more than 2.5 degrees higher than in previous years.

“The highest average national temperature for April [is] 14.9ºC in 2024,” the Korea Meteorological Administration said, adding it was the highest recorded in April since the national weather observation network was established in 1973.

The previous record was 14.7ºC, set in April 1998, KMA said.

Average nationwide temperatures in April surpassed the 1991-2020 April average of 12.1ºC, it added.

The average daily high also reached a record-breaking 21.1 degrees — which is an increase of 2.5 degrees from the average from 1991 to 2020.

April 14 saw especially high temperatures, as the daytime mercury in the greater Seoul region and areas of Gangwon province soared to approximately 30 degrees.

High pressure flows “developed over the Philippine Sea and east of Taiwan, resulting in warm southerly winds flowing into our country along the edge of the high pressure”, KMA said in a statement.

Asia is warming faster than the global average, according to the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation.

In the region, large swathes of South and Southeast Asia have recently been sweltering through a heatwave that has topped temperature records from Myanmar to the Philippines, with the El Nino phenomenon driving this year’s exceptionally warm weather.

In February, the head of last year’s COP28 climate talks said the world needs “trillions” of dollars to spur on the green transition and tackle global warming, warning that political momentum could evaporate without clear action.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are under pressure to initiate sweeping reforms to align their lending with the Paris deal goal of capping global warming at 1.5ºC above preindustrial levels.

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