Globe Saw 2nd Warmest April and Year to Date May 19, 2017

April continued the warm trend set in February and March. For the third consecutive month, the monthly temperature and year to date ranked second warmest in the 138-year record. At the poles, sea ice extents were at or near record low levels.

Climate By the Numbers

April

The average global temperature for April 2017 was 1.62 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 56.7 degrees, according to the analysis by scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. This was the second highest for April in the 1880-2017 record, behind last year by 0.31 degrees.

Year to date | January through April 2017

The year-to-date average temperature was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 54.8 degrees. This was the second-highest for this period on record; 0.34 of a degree cooler than the record set in 2016.

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

Continuing record-low sea ice at the poles

  • The average Arctic sea ice extent was 6.9 percent below the 1981-2010 average for April and tied with 2016 as the smallest in April since records began in 1979. The average Antarctic sea ice extent in April was 18.2 percent below the 1981-2010 average and ranked as second smallest extent on record for the month.

Above-average snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere

  • Snow cover in the N. Hemisphere was 3.1 percent above the 1981-2010 average. This was the 16th largest in the 51-year period of record. North America and Eurasia each had their 21st largest snow cover on record.

Warmer-than-average lands and oceans

  • The globally averaged sea surface temperature was the second highest on record for April, 1.31 degree F above average.
    The globally averaged land-surface temperature for April was tied with 2000 and 2010 as the fourth highest on record for that month — and 2.47 degrees F above average.

Global warmth varied by continent

  • Africa had its 4th warmest April on record; Asia, its 8th; North America tied for its 10th; South America, its 12th; Europe, its 36th; and Oceania tied for its 40th.

More: You can find NOAA’s report and download related maps and images by visiting the NCEI website.

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