Spring flowers. (Credit: Public Domain)
While higher temperatures have become more common as global warming continues, the global temperature of February 2016 had an alarming spike up to 56.08 degrees Fahrenheit, a full 2.18 degrees higher than average, according to a release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It was the most above normal temperature since 1880, records indicate. The highly unusual spike in temperature was consistent on land, sea, upper atmosphere and lower atmosphere.
Scientists from NOAA, NASA, University of Alabama at Huntsville and the private Remote Sensing Service all obtained data consistent with a hotter February 2016. The unusual February temperatures stood out independent of statistical methods used for data analysis and were consistent for satellite data.
The Arctic saw especially extreme temperature effects in February with an average temperature 8 degrees Fahrenheit higher and record low sea ice. December through February also broke the record for warmest winter, over half a degree higher Fahrenheit than the previous year.
While some of February’s spike was attributable to anthropogenic global warming and a super El Niño event, even those factors could not explain all of the peculiar spike in February’s temperature, scientists believed.
Top image: Spring flowers. (Credit: Public Domain)