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Last month was warmest February on record globally – ninth month in a row this record has been set

That’s according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service, which uses billions of measurements from around the world in its data.

LAST MONTH WAS the warmest February on record globally – the ninth month in a row that this record has been set.

That’s according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), which is managed by the European Commission.

Its findings make use of billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations around the world.

This data revealed that February 2024 had an average surface air temperature of 13.54 degrees – this is 0.81C above the average for February between 1991-2020 and 0.12C above the previous February record set in 2016.

It’s also 1.77C warmer than the estimated February average for the pre-industrial period of 1850-1900.

Temperatures last month across Europe were also considerably higher than the 1990-2020 average for February, with temperatures 3.3C above-average seen across central and eastern Europe.

C3S has also warned that daily global average temperatures were “exceptionally high” during the first half of last month, registering 2C above pre-industrial levels four days in a row between 8-11 February.

The C3S data also shows that the global-average temperature for the past 12 months is the highest on record – 0.68C above the 1991-2020 average and 1.56C above the pre-industrial period.

Meanwhile, the average global sea surface temperature for February was 21.06C, the highest for any month in the data set, above the previous record of 20.98C set in August 2023.

Sea surface temperatures provide vital information for monitoring climate change.

The C3S data also showed that while last month was wetter than average across much of Europe, including over Ireland and the UK, drier-than-average conditions were observed elsewhere, such as large parts of Southern Africa, Australia, south central Asia.

These drier-than-average conditions are often associated with wildfires.

Carlo Buontempo, director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), said: “February joins the long streak of records of the last few months.

“As remarkable as this might appear, it is not really surprising as the continuous warming of the climate system inevitably leads to new temperature extremes.

“The climate responds to the actual concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere so, unless we manage to stabilise those, we will inevitably face new global temperature records and their consequences.”

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