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Sunday, March 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Last month was the second-hottest February on record

UPDATED: Sat., March 14, 2020

By Muri Assungco Tribune News Service

It’s getting hot in here.

There’s no (climate) denying it. Earth has just had its second hottest February on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information said in a statement Friday that both the season (December through February) and the year to date (January through February) have ranked the second-hottest in recorded history – or in 141 years.

According to researchers, the average global surface temperature for February 2020 was 2.11 degrees above the average for the 20th century.

The only warmer February occurred in 2016, as part of the 2015-16 El Niño winter.

El Niño, which is characterized by the NOAA as “unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific,” acts as a booster to global temperatures.

The alarming situation of the warming Earth is even more pronounced in the Northern Hemisphere, which experienced the hottest first two months of the year since global records began in 1880.

The Southern Hemisphere had its second-hottest January and February period. It only fell behind the El Niño-fueled January and February of 2016 – when it’s summer in the south.

“Record-warm December to February temperatures were observed across much of the western half of Russia and parts of Europe, eastern Asia, northern Australia and across the Atlantic, Indian and western Pacific oceans,” NOAA scientists said. “However, no land or ocean areas had record-cold December to February temperatures.”

According to USA Today, France has just had its warmest winter on record. Both Austria and the Netherlands had their second-hottest winter.

Normally frigid Russia also broke some high temperature records this year, as reported by Gizmodo.

Large parts of the world’s largest country were about 7.2 to 12.4 degrees hotter than usual, according to data collected by Russia’s weather service.

NOAA scientists have also noted the level of sea-ice coverage on both poles has fallen below average.

“The month saw Arctic sea ice coverage at 4.0% below the 1981-2010 average, while coverage in the Antarctic was 6.5% below average,” the statement read. “Still, Antarctica saw its highest February sea ice extent since 2015.”

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