February Was 9th Consecutive Month of Record-Breaking Global Temperatures


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According to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), February 2024 was the planet’s ninth consecutive record-warm month.

February’s average global temperature on land and the ocean’s surface was 2.52 degrees Fahrenheit above the century’s average of 53.8 degrees Fahrenheit — the warmest February in the 175-year NOAA planetary climate record.

“Temperatures were warmer to much-warmer-than-average across the Arctic with the exception of much of Greenland to northern Iceland, and parts of the North Atlantic,” NOAA said. “Above-average to much-above-average temperatures also covered almost all of North America, most of western Europe into western Asia, most of South America, Africa and Australia. Record warm February temperatures affected many parts of Europe, South America, and in the southern half of Africa.”

North and South America and Europe broke February temperature records, while it was the second-warmest February ever recorded in Africa, a NOAA press release said.

It was also the warmest meteorological winter — December 2030 to February 2024 — on record in the Northern Hemisphere and the warmest meteorological summer in the Southern Hemisphere. The global surface temperature was 2.45 degrees Fahrenheit above average for the 20th century.

“Record-warm temperatures covered approximately 13.8% of the world’s surface this February, which was the highest percentage for February since the start of records in 1951, and 7.4% higher than the previous February record in 1986,” NOAA said.

Sea surface temperatures were warmer than average for much of the western, northern and equatorial Pacific Ocean, the tropical and northeastern Atlantic Ocean and large portions of the Indian Ocean.

There is a 45 percent likelihood that this year will be the warmest in NOAA’s record-keeping history, as well as a 99 percent chance 2024 will be among the top five hottest years.

Ice coverage worldwide was also low, according to the report.

“Global sea ice extent (coverage) was the fourth smallest in the 46-year record, at 460,000 square miles below the 1991–2020 average. Arctic sea ice extent was slightly below average (by 100,000 square miles), whereas Antarctic sea ice extent was substantially below average (by 370,000 square miles), ranking second smallest on record,” reported NOAA.

Weather activity in the tropics was also heightened in February, with 11 named storms around the world — above the average of seven for the period 1991 to 2020. Just two of the storms made landfall, in northern Australia.

Just one tropical cyclone — Djoungou — spun in the central Indian Ocean, away from land. The Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans did not see any active storms, save for Akara — a weak tropical cyclone in the South Atlantic. Akara was notable, however, since tropical storm development there is usually inhibited by atmospheric conditions.

Copernicus Climate Change Service Director Carlo Buentempo commented that the record-breaking temperatures in February were “not really surprising,” reported Earth.Org.

“The climate responds to the actual concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere so, unless we manage to stabilise those, we will inevitably face new global temperature records and their consequences,” said Buentempo.

This article originally appeared on EcoWatch and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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This article originally appeared on EcoWatch and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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