In the 137 years of record keeping by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it has been identified that each of the past 12 months has set a record for being the warmest.
The data was released by the NOAA on Wednesday after they found April to be the warmest such month on the record for the globe. That created 12 months of consecutive warmth a never before recorded occurrence since the instrumental records began in 1880.
They showed that global average surface temperatures during April were 1.10 degrees Celsius, or 1.98 degrees Fahrenheit, above the 20th century average.
That would make this April the most unusually warm April on record, surpassing April of 2010 by 0.28 degrees Celsius, or 0.50 degrees Fahrenheit and altogether out of all the 1,636 months on record, this April would be the fourth most unusually warm month of all. In fact, all four of the highest monthly temperature departures from average have occurred in 2015 and 2016.
The data presented by the NOAA matches those of general findings by two other global agencies being, NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency, which also found April to be the warmest such month in their records.
It is important to note that, the record warmth in 2015 and 2016 is due to a combination of both a human-caused global warming and an unusually intense El Niño event in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Climate scientists have however said that the human-cased global warming likely played a far larger role than the El Niño has, which was backed up by the fact that this burst of warmth easily outpaced the records set during a similarly strong El Niño in 1997-1998.
The basic things you need to understand about the NOAA data are;
- The 10 warmest months on record for global ocean temperatures were each recorded during the past 10 months.
- April 2016 marks the fifth-straight month since December 2015 that the global monthly temperature departure from average exceeded 1 degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 13 of the 15 most unusually warm months on record have occurred since February 2015.
- Only 1 out of the 15 most unusually warm months on record occurred prior to the year 2000 — February 1998
The data does not speak warmly about climatic conditions in the world. Already, the warmth this year is having major consequences around the world. In the Arctic, sea ice hit a record low annual maximum and has plunged to record low levels during the past several weeks. It is also an assured fact now that 2016 will eclipse 2015 as the warmest year on record, but a brewing La Niña event means that the astonishing streak of record-smashing months may come to a temporary halt before the year is over.