The growing warmth under conditions of climate change continues as shown by recent record breaking temperatures in the Untied States and abroad. Despite being under La Nina, which generally brings cooler conditions, the U.S. and other parts of the globe have seen above normal temperatures in the first part of the year.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the month of April had an average of 57.9 degrees Fahrenheit. This is 1.17 degrees more than the average exhibited in the 20th century. April 2012 will also be recorded as the fifth warmest on record globally, based on data dating back to 1881. April 2012 was the third warmest April on record for the U.S..
Overall April 2012 had the second warmest land temperature average recorded and the eleventh warmest ocean temperatures ever recorded. This April marks the 36th April in a row in which temperatures were above the 20th century average. In fact, the world has not seen a month where temperatures averaged lower than the 20th century average since February 1985. 326 consecutive months have exhibited warmer than average temperatures.
The temperatures are not surprisingly impacting snow extent in the Northern Hemisphere. In March sources indicated that snow cover was approaching the average of the 20th century. However, after the temperatures in April, the snow cover is now the fourth lowest since records began forty-six years ago. La Nina assisted ice coverage in the Arctic, however, and the coverage of April was only 1.8 percent below averages exhibited in the 20th century. This was the greatest sea ice extent for the Arctic in April since the year 2001.