April 2016 was the 12th consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken, the U.S. government’s climate agency said Wednesday.
“This is the longest such balmy streak in the 137-year record, which dates back to 1880,” the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in a statement.
“The heat goes on — and so do the records.”
For April, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.98 degrees Fahrenheit (1.10 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average of 56.7 degrees Fahrenheit (13.7 degrees Celsius), according to the monthly report released by the NOAA.
This temperature departure from average was not only the highest for the month of April in the 1880-2016 record, but also the fourth-highest among all months on record, behind March 2016, February 2016, and December 2015, said the report.
On land, all six continents had at least a top nine warm April, with South America, Africa, and Asia observing a record high average temperature for April, the NOAA report said.
Only northeastern Canada and southern South America were cooler than average, with the most notable cool temperature departures across northeastern Canada.
Overall, “April 2016 was characterized by warmer to much warmer-than-average conditions across most of Earth’s land surfaces,” it concluded.
The globally averaged sea surface temperature for April was also highest for this month on record and surpassed the same period in 1998 by 0.43 degrees Fahrenheit (0.24 degrees Celsius) — the last time a similar strength El Nino occurred.
This April also saw the the smallest Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent recorded in 50 years of snow-cover data collection.
For the four months of 2016, the average temperature for the globe was 2.05 degrees Fahrenheit (1.14 degrees Celsius) above the 20th-century average of 54.8 degrees Fahrenheit (12.7 degrees Celsius), the report added.