The climate figures for February are out, and it doesn't look good. According to a new NOAA report, global average temperature over both land and ocean surfaces for February was the second highest for the month since recordkeeping began. What's more, we just experienced the warmest year-to-date (Jan-Feb) on record.

This, despite the fact that eastern portions of North America experienced colder-than-average temperatures and record snowfall.

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First, here's what the NOAA report had to say about this past February:

  • During February, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.48°F (0.82°C) above the 20th century average. This was the second highest for February in the 1880–2015 record. The highest temperature occurred in 1998, at 1.55°F (0.86°C) above average.
  • During February, the globally-averaged land surface temperature was 3.02°F (1.68°C) above the 20th century average. This was also the second highest for February in the 1880–2015 record. The highest temperature occurred in 2002, at 3.06°F (1.70°C) above average.
  • During February, the globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 0.92°F (0.51°C) above the 20th century average. This was the third highest for February in the 1880–2015 record.

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In addition, the average Arctic sea ice extent was 6.2% below the 1981-2010 average, which is the third-smallest February extent since records began in 1970. At the same time, however, Antarctic sea ice during February was 21.4% above the 1981-2010 average. That makes it the sixth-largest February ice advance, but the smallest since 2012.

Alarmingly, the past December to February span featured the highest global land and ocean surfaces temperature on record. Temperatures were 1.42°F (0.79°C) above the 20th century average. That makes it the hottest Dec-Feb in the 1880-2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2007 by 0.05°F (0.03°C).

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And, as noted, the current year-to-date period (Jan-Feb) is also the warmest on record:

  • During January–February, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.42°F (0.79°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for January–February in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous records of 2002 and 2007 by 0.07°F (0.04°C).
  • During January–February, the globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.75°F (1.53°C) above the 20th century average. This was the second highest for January–February in the 1880–2015 record.

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According to NOAA, the highest temperature happened in 2002, at 2.79°F (1.55°C) above average.

Finally, February Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent was the 14th largest in the 49-year record period. The graphic above shows the significant climate anomalies experienced last month.

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NOAA's full report can be found here.

Images: NOAA