NEW YORK, USA, Thursday May 18, 2017 – Just one month after NASA announced that March 2017 was the hottest March ever recorded, the agency has revealed that last month made a similar record.
At 0.88°C warmer than the average April temperature from 1951-1980, it was second only to April 2016, which was 1.06°C warmer than average.
Last month, temperatures rose by as much as 5°C in north-western Canada and Alaska, while Northern China and Mongolia also saw much higher temperatures than usual.
Few countries saw cooler months than average, including parts of south-east Asia and the Antarctic.
A NASA spokesperson said: “April 2016 was the hottest on record, at 1.06 degrees Celsius warmer than the April mean temperature.
“April 2017’s temperature was 0.18 degrees Celsius cooler than April 2016.
“This past April was only slightly warmer than the third warmest April, which occurred in 2010 and was 0.87 degrees warmer than the mean.”
Added weight to March 2017’s ranking as the hottest March ever recorded, as well as temperatures clocked last month, came with the absence of the El Nino effect – a natural warming of the Pacific that alters weather worldwide.
Both 2015 and 2016 set repeated high temperature records during a protracted El Nino episode.
“We typically expect the next year after El Nino to be slightly cooler,” the NASA spokesperson noted.
“It’s quite impressive; it’s just climate change, not natural variability like El Nino,” he added.
The monthly analysis is made up from data from 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, ship- and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research stations.
Scientists from Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York have been collecting global temperature data since 1880.
Last year was the hottest ever recorded.