February saw tenth straight month of record temperatures
US agency says rate of temperature increases are ‘astronomical’, ‘staggering’ and ‘strange’
February temperature departures from normal over the Earth, compared to 20th century average. (NOAA)
Earth got so hot last month that scientists described the temperatures as “astronomical”, “staggering” and “strange”, according to a new report.
And the US experts warned that Earth’s climate may have moved into a new, hotter neighbourhood.
This was not just another of the drumbeat of 10 straight broken monthly global heat records, triggered by a super El Nino and man-made global warming.
February 2016 obliterated old marks by such a margin that it was the most above-normal month since meteorologists started keeping track in 1880.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Earth averaged 56.08 degrees in February, 2.18 degrees above average - beating the old record for February set in 2015 by nearly six-tenths of a degree.
NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden said records were smashed on the land, the oceans, and the lower and middle atmosphere.