Things are heating up, and not in a good way. This past February was the hottest February on record. According to a new report released by NOAA today, temperatures around the world were 2.18 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average February temperature for the 20th century.
Not only that, the extent of Arctic sea ice in February was 7.54 percent below the 1981–2010 average, and the lowest since record-keeping started in 1979. The Antarctic was also on thin ice, with the sixth smallest February sea ice coverage on the record. And the Northern Hemisphere had the third lowest amount of snow cover in February in the 50 years since records began being kept.
If you feel like you’re experiencing déjà vu reading that, it’s because you’ve heard this story before. Last October was the hottest October ever. Last winter was the hottest winter in the United States. Last year was the hottest year on record.
This past February is the tenth consecutive month that has broken monthly temperature records. It also kept alive another streak. This February’s sea surface temperatures were 1.46 degrees above average, which means the past nine months have been the nine highest monthly global ocean temperature departures on record.
If 2016 keeps it up, it’s increasingly likely that the more the climate changes, the more the stories will stay the same.