Saturday, December 16, 2017

No El Niño? No problem. Earth sizzles to near record heat

By on March 17, 2017

FILE - In this July 21, 2016 file photo, Hank, a quarter horse from Paris, Ill., stays close to a fan keeping cool inside a barn at the Illinois State Fair grounds in Springfield, Ill. Ouch. NASA calculates that just Earth broiled to its hottest month in recorded history: last July. Even after the fading of a strong El Nino, which spikes global temperatures on top of man-made climate change, July burst global temperature records no sweat. Well, lots of sweat, actually for anyone who went outside.  (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

In this July 21, 2016 photo, Hank, a quarter horse from Paris, Ill., stays close to a fan keeping cool inside a barn at the Illinois State Fair grounds in Springfield, Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

WASHINGTON – Even without an El Niño warming the world’s waters, Earth in February sizzled to its second hottest temperature on record, behind only last year.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calculated that February 2017 averaged 55.66 degrees (13.08 degrees Celsius). That’s 1.76 degrees (.98 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 20th century average.

It was also the second hottest winter in the northern hemisphere on record. Records go back to 1880.

In the past, Earth doesn’t come near record heat if there’s no El Niño. This year it did – on every continent.

NOAA climate scientist Ahira Sanchez-Lugo called it clear evidence of climate change.

She calculated that the rate of February warming since 1980 is twice as high as since 1880.

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