February breaks global temperature records by 'shocking' amount - Sabi Tips

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February breaks global temperature records by 'shocking' amount


Warnings of climate emergency after surface temperatures 1.35C warmer than average temperature for the month.

Drought-hit land in Thailand. Stefan Rahmstorf, from Germany’s Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research, says the global temperatures for February are ‘unprecedented’. Photograph: Rungroj Yongrit/EPA.February smashed a century of global temperature records by “stunning” margin, according to data released by Nasa.


The unprecedented leap led scientists, usually wary of highlighting a single month’s temperature, to label the new record a “shocker” and warn of a “climate emergency”.

The Nasa data shows the average global surface temperature in February was 1.35C warmer than the average temperature for the month between 1951-1980, a far bigger margin than ever seen before. The previous record, set just one month earlier in January, was 1.15C above the long-term average for that month.

“Nasa dropped a bombshell of a climate report,” said Jeff Masters and Bob Henson, who analysed the data on the Weather Underground website. “February dispensed with the one-month-old record by a full 0.21C – an extraordinary margin to beat a monthly world temperature record by.”

“This result is a true shocker, and yet another reminder of the incessant long-term rise in global temperature resulting from human-produced greenhouse gases,” said Masters and Henson. “We are now hurtling at a frightening pace toward the globally agreed maximum of 2C warming over pre-industrial levels.”

The UN climate summit in Paris in December confirmed 2C as the danger limit for global warming which should not be passed. But it also agreed agreed to “pursue efforts” to limit warming to 1.5C, a target now looking highly optimistic.

Climate change is usually assessed over years and decades, and 2015 shattered the record set in 2014 for the hottest year seen, in data stretching back to 1850. The UK Met Office also expects 2016 to set a new record, meaning the global temperature record will have been broken for three years in a row.

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