April 19, 2017

New heat record reported by NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that last month set an unusual and unexpected new record for global warming. No month before March 2017 had ever exceeded the “normal” temperature (the 1981–2010 average) by a full 1.8°F (1.0°C)?—?“in the absence of an El Niño episode in the tropical Pacific Ocean.”

An El Niño is “characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific.” El Niños generally lead to global temperature records, as the short-term El Niño warming adds to the underlying long-term global warming trend. So when a month sees record high global temperatures in the absence of an El Niño, that is a sign the underlying global warming trend is stronger than ever.

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