Another climate warning: February smashes heat records

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The world’s recent run of record-breaking temperatures continued into February, smashing previous monthly records by an unprecedented amount. New data from NASA shows global surface temperatures across land and ocean were 1.35DegC above the February average – based on a 1951-1980 baseline. 2016 is already forecast to be the hottest year on record, and as extreme weather events continue to hit communities across the globe, scientists are becoming more certain than ever of human’s role in increasing the magnitude and probability of many of these climate change-related events. Coming just weeks before governments meet in New York, where they are expected to sign the landmark climate agreement reached in Paris last December, these latest findings offer yet another stark warning of the urgency to turn their Paris pledges into definitive actions.

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  • “Nasa dropped a bombshell of a climate report. February dispensed with the one-month-old record by a full 0.21C – an extraordinary margin to beat a monthly world temperature record by. This result is a true shocker, and yet another reminder of the incessant long-term rise in global temperature resulting from human-produced greenhouse gases. We are now hurtling at a frightening pace toward the globally agreed maximum of 2C warming over pre-industrial levels.” – Jeff Masters and Bob Henson, Weather Underground
  • “It is a pretty big jump between January and February, although this data from Nasa is only the first set of global temperature data. We will need to see what the figures from NOAA and the Met Office say. It is in line with our expectations that due to the continuing effect of greenhouse gas emissions, combined with the effects of El Niño on top, 2016 is likely to beat 2015 as the warmest year on record.” – Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the University of Reading
  • “An increasingly common question after an extreme weather event is whether climate change ‘caused’ that event to occur. While that question remains difficult to answer given all the factors that affect an individual weather event, we can now say more about how climate change has affected the intensity or likelihood of some events.” – David W. Titley, Pennsylvania State University meteorology professor

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