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Beyond record hot, February was ‘astronomical’ and ‘strange’

/ 10:15 PM March 17, 2016
A novice Buddhist monk covers his head with his robe as he prepares to walk into the sun's rays in a hot humid day at a public park in Yangon, Myanmar, Thursday, March 17, 2016. In Yangon during the month of March, temperature rises up to 37 degrees Celsius (98 degrees Fahrenheit) with up to 94 percent humidity before the tropical rainy season starts in May. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

A novice Buddhist monk covers his head with his robe as he prepares to walk into the sun’s rays in a hot humid day at a public park in Yangon, Myanmar, on March 17. In Yangon during the month of March, temperature rises up to 37 degrees Celsius (98 degrees Fahrenheit) with up to 94 percent humidity before the tropical rainy season starts in May. AP

WASHINGTON—Earth got so hot last month that federal scientists described the temperatures as “astronomical,” ”staggering” and “strange,” warning that the climate may have moved into a new, hotter neighborhood.

This was not just another of the drumbeat of 10 straight broken monthly global heat records, triggered by a super El Niño and man-made global warming. February 2016 obliterated old marks by such a margin that it was the most above-normal month since meteorologists started keeping track in 1880.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Earth averaged 56.08 degrees (13.38 Celsius) in February, 2.18 degrees Fahrenheit above average, beating the old record for February set in 2015.

NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden said records were smashed on the land, the oceans and the lower and middle atmosphere.

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TAGS: Climate Change, El Niño, Heat, Temperature
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