Canadian Underwriter

Earth had second warmest February on record this year: NOAA

March 22, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter

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February 2017 was the second warmest February in the 1880-2017 record-keeping period, behind 2016, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported recently.

February 2017’s average global temperature was 1.76 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 53.9 degrees Fahrenheit, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

NOAA reported in a statement on Friday that the average temperature from December through February was 1.60°F above the 20th century average of 53.8°F, the second warmest for this period, just behind 2015-2016.

Year-to-date (January through February 2017), the average temperature was 1.69°F above the 20th century average of 53.8°F. This was the second warmest first two months of the year in the record period, behind last year.

Other notable climate events and facts around the world last month included:

  • Above average temperatures were observed throughout much of Canada, with a small area in the western part of the country experiencing near- to below-average conditions;
  • This was the second warmest February in North America since 2000 and the fourth warmest since continental records began in 1910;
  • Warmer to much warmer than average conditions engulfed much of the contiguous United States during February 2017, resulting in the second warmest February on record, behind 1954;
  • Both the globally averaged sea surface temperature and the land surface temperature ranked as second highest on record for February, the December-to-February season and the year to date;
  • South America had its third warmest February on record; North America, its fourth; Asia, its eighth; Africa, its 10th; Europe, its 17th (tied with 1997); and Oceania, its 25th;
  • The Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent was the 22nd largest in the 51-year record. North America had its 15th smallest, while Eurasia had its 19th largest; and
  • The average Arctic sea ice extent was 7.6% below the 1981-2010 average for February, and the average Antarctic sea ice extent was 24.4% below average. Both regions logged the smallest February sea ice extent since satellite records began in 1979.