Thursday, March 17, 2016

February 2016 Was Earth's Warmest Month in Recorded History

Warmest year globally. If you are surprised this happened in February, remember that February in the southern hemisphere is the equivalent of August in the northern hemisphere.

NOAA Agrees: February 2016 Was Earth's Warmest Month in Recorded History
By: Jeff Masters , 3:53 PM GMT on March 17, 2016

February 2016 was by far the planet's warmest February since record keeping began in 1880, and was also the warmest month relative to average of any month in the historical record, said NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) on Thursday. As discussed here on Sunday, NASA also rated February 2016 as the warmest February as well as the warmest month in recorded history (measured as a departure from average.) In the NOAA database, February 2016 came in a full 0.32°C (0.58°F) warmer than the previous record-holder, February 2015--a truly astounding margin to break an all-time monthly global temperature record by (these records are typically broken by just a few hundredths of a degree.) The five warmest months since 1880 (as measured by departure from average in both the NOAA and NASA databases) were the past five months. The impressive global warmth in recent months is due to the steady build-up of heat-trapping greenhouse gases due to human activities, plus a spike due to a large amount of heat being released from waters in the Eastern Pacific due to the strong El NiƱo event there.

February 2016 also marked the tenth consecutive month that the monthly temperature record was been broken and the fifteenth consecutive month (since December 2014) that the monthly global temperature ranked among the three warmest for its respective month in the NOAA database. Global ocean temperatures during February 2016 were the warmest on record, and global land temperatures were the second warmest on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures in February 2016 for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the warmest in the 38-year record, according to the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). This is the fifth consecutive month the UAH database has registered a record monthly high.


Arctic sea ice extent during February 2016 was the lowest in the 38-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). This is the second consecutive month with a record-low sea ice extent.


So far in 2016, four nations or territories have tied or set all-time records for their hottest temperature in recorded history, and one (Hong Kong) has set an all-time cold temperature record. "All-time" record here refers to the warmest or coldest temperature ever reliably reported in a nation or territory. The period of record varies from country to country and station to station, but it is typically a few decades to a century or more.


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