Feb saw more extreme heat, unusually high temperatures in both hemispheres, UN weather agency says

Extreme Temperature. Children play on parched land in southern Pakistan. Photo Courtesy: UNICEF/Vlad Sokhin

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February saw more extreme heat and unusually high temperatures in both hemispheres, the UN weather agency (WMO) said on Friday.

Summarizing the state of the climate, the month ended with extreme heat in the southern hemisphere where it’s summer, while high temperatures atypical of the northern hemisphere winter prevailed.

Parts of North and South America, northwest and southeast Africa, southeast and far eastern Asia, western Australia and Europe all saw record-breaking temperatures, either on a daily basis or for all of February.

“The anomalous heat is consistent with the persisting warming observed since June 2023, with seven consecutive new global monthly temperature records, including January 2024,” said Alvaro Silva, a climatologist working with WMO.

Global sea surface temperatures are record high. While the El Niño weather pattern “has stoked temperatures in some parts of the world, human induced climate change is the long-term major contributing factor,” he added.

Conversely, a large part of northwestern Canada, central Asia – and from southern central Siberia to southeastern China  – witnessed exceptional cold during the last week of the month.

The meteorological winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern hemisphere finish officially at the end of February.