WASHINGTON -- Despite below-average temperatures across North America last month, the Earth notched its 7th-warmest February on record, according to NOAA.
Averaging all the land and ocean surface temperatures across the globe came in at 1.46 degrees F above the 20th-century average.
Asia, Europe and South America experienced well-above-average temperatures, ranking among their top eight warmest Februarys. North America was alone in experiencing below-average temperatures.
That was not the case if you average in the three-month period of December through February, which ranked as sixth-warmest for North America and fifth-warmest for Earth overall.
In the Southern Hemisphere, where summer is nearing its end, it ranked as the 7th warmest on record, NOAA said.
Below average sea ice too…
The climate report notes that Antarctic sea ice coverage for February was 830,000 square miles -- the smallest coverage on record and nearly 30% below average. That broke the previous record for the smallest ice coverage set in 2017.
Warmer waters meant increased tropical activity as well. The South Indian Ocean had five named cyclones in February, tying it with 2000 and 2007 for most named storms in February since 1981.
Overall, the globe had eight named tropical cyclones, four of which intensified to hurricane-equivalent strength.
NOAA climatologists note that with the warm start to the year and future, forecast projections give a greater than 99% chance 2022 will go down as among the Top 10 warmest years for Earth on record.