New York: Driven by strong El Nino event in the tropical Pacific Ocean and human-caused global warming, the warmest ever February in recorded history was this year, preliminary data released by NASA suggests.
The previous warmest February, according to NASA, was in 1998, which was also a year with an extremely strong El Nino, Mashable.com reported.
However, in an important indication of how far human-caused global warming has shifted the baseline state of the planet’s climate, February 2016 came out 0.846 degrees Celsius warmer than February 1998, despite the similar intensity of the El Nino events in both years, the report said.
According to the latest NASA data, February 2016 had a global average surface temperature of 1.35 degrees Celsius above the 1951 to 1980 average, making it exceptional for its unusual heat more than any other month since instruments record began in 1880.
The 1.35-degree Celsius temperature anomaly in February surpassed the anomaly recorded in January, which itself was a record high departure from average for any month.
NASA’s temperature records are backed up by information from satellites. However, the data is subject to adjustment as scientists refine their analysis, the report added.