Globe Records Fifth-Warmest April on Record
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report released Tuesday, last month was the fifth warmest April on record (record-keeping began in 1880, so we’re talking 132 years).
NOAA’s analysis of global temperatures showed that the planet’s thermometer stood at 57.87°F for the month, averaged over night and day, land and sea, from the poles to the equator. That’s 1.17°F higher than the 20th-century average — the biggest such departure from average of any month since November, 2010. The last time April was below that average was in 1976, when Gerald Ford was president.
Some places that drove April numbers up, said NOAA, included Alaska, the lower 48 states of the U.S., Mexico and most of Russia. The places that kept the global average from being even higher — which is to say, places that were cooler than average — included Scandinavia (particularly Norway and Sweden), the United Kingdom, and northern Australia.
NOAA also reported that La Nina, the Pacific ocean current that’s been around since for about a year and a half, has dissipated. Normally, La Nina is associated with cooler than average global temperatures; it tends to hold back the longer-term warming associated with human greenhouse gases. With the brakes now off, it’s not at all implausible that warming will increase over the next year or so.