April 2016 was record warm for the month, rounding out one full year of record-breaking monthly temperatures for the globe, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said, adding that this is the longest such balmy streak in the 137-year record, which dates back to 1880.
The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for April 2016 was 1.10°C above the 20th century average of 13.7°C—the highest temperature departure for April since global records began in 1880.
This value surpassed the previous record set in 2010 by 0.28°C. This was also the fourth highest monthly temperature departure among all 1,636 months on record, behind March 2016 (1.23°C), February 2016 (1.19°C), and December 2015 (1.12°C), the agency said in its latest report.
Overall, 13 out of the 15 highest monthly temperature departures in the record have all occurred since February 2015, with February 1998 and January 2007 among the 15 highest monthly temperature departures. April 2016 also marks the fifth consecutive month (since December 2015) that the global monthly temperature departure from average has surpassed 1.0°C and it is the 12th consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken, the longest such streak in NOAA’s 137 years of record keeping, the report said.
According to the report, April 2016 was characterised by warmer to much warmer-than-average conditions across most of Earth’s land surfaces. The most notable warm temperature departures were observed across much of Russia and Alaska, where temperatures were 3.0°C or greater above average. Record warmth was notable across northern and central South America and parts of southern Europe, western and central Africa, southeastern Asia, eastern Australia, southern Alaska, and the Caribbean.
Meanwhile, northeastern Canada and southern South America were cooler than average, with the most notable cool temperature departures across northeastern Canada (as low as -5°C below average).
The report said a record warm January, February, March, and April resulted in the highest global land and ocean average temperature for January–April at 1.14°C above the 20th century average—besting the previous record set in 2015 by 0.30°C and surpassing January-April 1998, the last time a similar strength El Niño occurred during this period, by 0.45°C.
The average land surface temperature was also record high, at 2.04°C above average, surpassing the previous record of 2015 by 0.59°C. The average global sea surface temperature for the year-to-date was the highest for January–April in the 137-year period of record, at 0.81°C above average, surpassing the previous records set in 2010 and 2015 by 0.19°C and exceeding January–April 1998 by 0.26°C, it added.