February 2024 was the warmest ever recorded on the planet

Symptom of a climate crisis that seems unstoppable and irreversible

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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February 2024 was the warmest ever recorded on the planet
© Mario Tama / Staff Getty Images

February 2024 was the warmest ever globally. According to the EU weather service Copernicus, it was also the ninth consecutive month of record high temperatures across the planet.

February 2024 marked 1.77 degrees warmer than the average for the month in the pre-industrial period, with exceptionally high daily temperatures in the first half of the month.

February 2024 the warmest ever 

Carlo Buontempo, director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, explained:

"February joins the long streak of records in recent months. As extraordinary as it may seem, it is not actually surprising, as the continued warming of the climate system inevitably leads to new temperature extremes. The climate responds to current concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and therefore, unless we can stabilize them, we will necessarily be faced with new global temperature records and their consequences."

Copernicus experts are also concerned about the ocean surface temperature, calculated in the range between 60° S and 60° N latitude, which was 21.06° C, the highest for any month in the dataset, higher than the previous record of August 2023 (20.98°C).

Global warming
Global warming© Gaston Brito Miserocchi / Stringer Getty Images
 

The global average sea surface temperature for February 2024 over 60°S-60°N was 21.06°C, the highest for any month in the history of the data, higher than that for August 2023 (20.98°C).

February 2024 was wetter than average in western and northeastern North America, in a broad region stretching from Eurasia to Central Asia, in parts of China and Japan, in southern -eastern Brazil, parts of southern Africa and northern Australia and the wettest in Europe.

Temperatures were above average in northern Russia, North America, most of South America, all of Africa and Western Australia.

Antarctic sea ice has reached its annual monthly low, the third lowest in the satellite data record, 28% below average. Arctic sea ice extent was 2% below average, not as low as in most recent years, particularly compared to the minimum February extent recorded in 2018 (6% below average) .