NOAA: Sixth Warmest February in Combined Global Surface Temperature, Fifth Warmest December-February

March 16, 2010

Last month’s combined global land and ocean surface temperature made it the sixth warmest February ever recorded. Additionally, the December 2009 – February 2010 period was the fifth warmest on record averaged for any similar three-month Northern Hemisphere winter-Southern Hemisphere summer season, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.

Based on records going back to 1880, the monthly NCDC analysis is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides to businesses, communities and governments so they may make informed decisions to safeguard their social and economic well-being.

Separately, the average global ocean surface temperature for both February and the December-February season was second warmest on record, behind 1998. The global land surface temperature for February 2010 tied with 1992 as the 14th warmest on record, while December-February period was the 13th warmest on record.

Global Highlights – February

Global Highlights – December 2009 – February 2010

Other Highlights

Scientists, researchers, and leaders in government and industry use NOAA’s monthly reports to help track trends and other changes in the world's climate. This climate service has a wide range of practical uses, from helping farmers know what and when to plant, to guiding resource managers with critical decisions about water, energy and other vital assets.

Background information on winter snowstorms in the United States and links to climate change is available online.

NOAA has also posted a Q & A feature regarding the monitoring stations that track these measurements.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the oceans to surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.