Exacerbated by anthropogenic climate change, the earth continues to post new record-highs for temperatures, with May 2024 being the hottest May on record.

According to the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Agency, global total temperatures were 1.52 degrees Celsius above their historical average in May 2024.

Moreover, the global average temperature over the past 12 months was 1.63 degrees C higher than pre-industrial levels, which is above the important 1.5 degree C limit that scientists widely believe is needed to keep the earth healthy.

In Greece, mean temperatures were 2 degrees C higher in the northwest of the country over the past year, fueling extreme weather conditions that have also been impacted by increasing sea surface temperatures.

“It is shocking but not surprising that we have reached this 12-month streak,” commented Copernicus director Carlo Buontempo. He added: “We live in unprecedented times, but we also have an unprecedented ability to monitor the climate, and this can help inform our actions.”

Scientists have also warned that the high temperatures forecast for Europe, especially southern Europe this summer, place countries at a greater risk for fires.

With monthly temperatures approaching 2 degrees Celsius, a study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany warns that rising temperatures could potentially reduce 17% of global GDP by 2050, an amount that amounting to a staggering US$38 trillion annually, according to reports at OT.gr.

The report also estimates that measures to limit global warming to within two degrees Celsius of pre-industrial temperatures by 2050 would cost $6 trillion – or 1/6 of the potential damage, says OT.