February 2017 was the second warmest February in 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.
Last month was 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean February temperature from 1951-1980. The two top February temperature anomalies have occurred during the past two years.
February 2016 was the hottest on record, at 1.3 degrees Celsius warmer than the February mean temperature. February 2017′s temperature was 0.20 degrees Celsius cooler than February 2016.
Global map of the February 2017 LOTI (land-ocean temperature index) anomaly shows that North America and Siberia were again much warmer than the 1951-1980 base period, and that Europe was relatively warm. The monthly analysis by the GISS team is assembled from publicly available data acquired by about 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, ship- and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research stations.
The GISTEMP monthly temperature anomalies superimposed on a 1980-2015 mean seasonal cycle.
The modern global temperature record begins around 1880 because previous observations didn’t cover enough of the planet. Monthly analyses are sometimes updated when additional data becomes available, and the results are subject to change.