Continuing the trend of upward-spiraling temperatures, February of 2016 broke even more records, with data from both NOAA and NASA agreeing on the trend. Last month was the hottest February on record, 1.21°C (2.18°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.9°F); it also set a new all-time temperature record, beating the previous record-holder, December 2015, by 0.09°C (0.16°F). February also marked the sixth consecutive month where a monthly temperature record had been broken.
A large region of the planet stretching from Eastern Europe into central Russia experienced temperatures 5°C (9°F) above the 1981–2010 average. Alaska also reported it’s warmest February on record, 6.9°C (12.4°F) higher than the 20th century average. This also made for the warmest December-February period on record for the contiguous United States, at 2.6°C (4.6°F) higher than the 20th century average.
The Pacific Ocean’s current El Niño conditions are beginning to wane, but are still present. NOAA is forecasting that there is a 50 percent chance for a La Niña to develop this autumn. Critics are pointing out that these temperature records are being exacerbated by the current El Niño, however current average temperatures are still 0.43°C (0.77ºF) warmer than in the corresponding months from the 1997-1998 El Niño period.