Climate Matters

NOAA Monthly Temperature Update


NOAA released the monthly global temperature update today, and like the corresponding NASA monthly update, it indicates that this past April was the warmest April on record globally.

Quick stats from NOAA:

  • The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for April 2016 was 1.98°F above the 20th century average – the highest temperature departure for April since global records began in 1880.

  • 13 out of the 15 highest monthly temperature departures in the record have all occurred since February 2015 (record goes back to 1880). The other two were in February 1998 and January 2007.

  • April 2016 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 global year-to-date temperature is 2.05°F (1.14°C) above the 20th century average, and is warmer than this time in 2015, which finished as the hottest global year on record.

The NOAA anomalies are calculated from a 20th century baseline. As the global conversation has shifted focus to a goal of limiting warming to 2°C with an aspiration of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, we have combined the NOAA and NASA global temperature numbers and adjusted them to an early industrial baseline of 1881-1910 to better gauge our warming against this global goal. This is reflected in the graphic below.

high-res version

Our second graphic is the year-to-date global map showing NOAA temp anomalies (using their 20th century baseline), highlighting record heat over Alaska, Brazil, and the Indian Ocean.

high-res version

We also invite you to join us in using a newly established hashtag: #2hot2ignore when communicating about the global temperature release.

An example tweet:

Another month, another global temp record. Make that 12 straight monthly global temp records in a row. #climatematters #2hot2ignore

For digital media... link to's global temperature page, which includes video, graphics, and stories on the latest information.

To coincide with today's NOAA release, join my colleagues, Bernadette Woods Placky and Brian Kahn, along with Carl Parker from The Weather Channel for Reddit AMA at 3pm (ET) to discuss the global heat records and why they are #2hot2ignore.

REMINDER: If you would like a version of either graphic in a different format or without the title bar, let me know, and we can get it to before the end of the day.

Let us know if you have any questions, and thanks for your support!

Sean Sublette

Brought to you by Climate Central