April 2018 marked the 400th consecutive month with warmer-than-average temperatures, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The last time that there was a colder than average month was in December 1984.
NOAA says that record and near-record temperatures were captured globally.
NOAA says that the temperature for April 2018 was 1.49 degrees higher than the 20th century average of 56.7 degrees Fahrenheit. This would make April 2018 the third hottest on record in the 139-year period from 1880 to 2018. Nine of the 10 warmest Aprils on record have occurred since 2005.
NOAA also found that four out of six continents had an April temperature that ranked among the five warmest on record. South America and Europe had their warmest April on record. Warm Aprils were also observed across southern South America, central Europe, eastern Russia, and Australia.
Through April 2018, the year had a global temperature that was 1.37 degrees above the 20th-century average of 54.8 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature was the fifth warmest average temperature and the coolest since 2014.
Scientists use the 20th century as a benchmark because it is a fixed point in time. This allows them to compare the data consistently. There has also been a sufficient amount of time that it includes several cycles of climate variability.
At the bottom of its climate report, NOAA also includes more facts about the effect of climate change on the planet in April. NOAA found that the average Arctic sea ice coverage was 6.8 percent. This puts it below the 1981-2010 average, which would make it the second smallest extent since NOAA began keeping records in 1979. Antarctic sea coverage was 12.3 percent below average, making it the fifth smallest coverage for April.
NOAA also found that land surface temperature was the ninth warmest for April and sixth warmest for 2018. It also found that average sea surface temperature was the fourth warmest for April and fifth warmest for 2018.
Other continents were not found to have their warmest temperatures, but the ranking of the temperatures was still pretty high. Oceania had its second warmest April, Africa had its fifth warmest April, Asia had its ninth warmest April, and North America had its 94th warmest April.
NOAA also released an infographic depicting the extreme heat around the world. In Pakistan, on April 30, temperatures reached 122.4 degrees Fahrenheit. In North America, colder-than-average temperatures covered a large portion of Canada and the United States with temperatures 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit below average or colder. April 2018 is tied with April 1918 as the 15th coldest April since 1910.
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