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Spree Of Warmth Runs Unabated: After January, February Too Hottest On Record

March 8, 2024 3:26 PM |

The year 2023 ended as the hottest on record, surpassing earlier mark of 2016. Earth’s average land and ocean surface temperature in 2023 was 2.12°F (1.18°C) above the 20th century. It beats the warmest year, earlier recorded in 2016 by 0.15°C. The ten warmest years since 1850 have all occurred in the past decade. As the new heights are being scaled, the process appears unending, at least for the next few decades.

The month of December 2023 was the warmest December on record when the global surface temperature was 1.43°C above the 20th-century average. Then came January 2024, again the warmest January on record and the eighth consecutive month in a row of record global warmth. Another stunning fact now, reveals that February 2024 was the warmest February on record globally. It was the ninth month in a row that a month was the warmest for the respective period of the year, Europe’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) has said.  The average surface air temperature was 13.54°C, 0.81°C above the 1991-2020 average for February, and  0.12°C above the temperature of the previous warmest February in 2016, said CES.

Record and excess warming is attributed to the Super El Nino in the Pacific Ocean, the largest sea around the globe. The year 2015 was also Super El Nino year and the following year 2016 became the warmest on record.  Coincidentally, the year 2023 also happens to be a Super El Nino year when the temperature anomaly reached 2°C during the quarter Nov-Dec-Jan in the Nino 3.4 region. Though El Nino, which is the main reason for this weather, continued to weaken in the equatorial Pacific, marine air temperatures in general, still remained at an unusually high level, in excess of 1.5°C.

In addition to the El Nino, human-induced climate change also remains the chief contributory factor. The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is hardly showing a decline. The climate will keep responding to the actual concentrations. Relentless efforts are needed to first stabilize and arrest this rise in temperature. The mitigation, possibly, will come later with a lag of a decade or even more, provided strict measures are followed

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