February 2016: Warmest On Record

February temperatures in Killeen, Texas,
over the past seven years
(Copyright © 2016 by Wil C. Fry.)

Not only was February 2016 the warmest February on record, but it was the most abnormally warm of any month on record, according to both NASA and a European climate group.

“Averaging over twelve-month periods, which further smooths out the shorter term variations, reveals that globally the twelve months ending February 2016 were the warmest 12 months on record.”

When these climate scientists use phrases like “colder than average” or “warmer than average”, the average they refer to is the 1951-1980 global average. The last time a month was cooler than that average was February 1985. Yes, 1985, before most Millennials were born, and while Reagan was still president. Every month since February 1985 has been warmer than the 1951-80 global average (or tied with it). That’s more than 370 consecutive months. Earth’s last colder-than-average January was 40 years ago — in 1976.

According to the National Snow And Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the Arctic sea ice coverage is the lowest ever seen in February.

Remember that 2014 was the warmest year ever recorded, and 2015 shattered that record. After just two months in 2016, some scientists are already predicting that 2016 will break the record again.

Locally, here in Killeen, Texas, February 2016 was also the warmest on record, beating the previous record set in 2012, and we’re on pace to see the warmest March on record. This past September (2015) was the warmest we’ve seen, and October 2015 tied October 2014 as the warmest Octobers on record.

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