WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 2023 ranked as the fourth-warmest April on record, contributing to an overall warm year for the planet, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. The global ocean temperatures reached a record high for the month, making it the second-warmest ocean temperature ever recorded.
The average global temperature in April was 1.80 degrees Fahrenheit (1.00 degree Celsius) above the 20th-century average of 56.7 degrees Fahrenheit (13.7 degrees Celsius), marking the 49th-consecutive April and the 530th-consecutive month with temperatures exceeding the 20th-century average. The Southern Hemisphere experienced its warmest April and warmest month on record, surpassing the previous record set in March 2016. Meanwhile, the Northern Hemisphere had its ninth-warmest April.
In terms of continents, Africa had its fourth-warmest April on record, while South America tied with 2007 for its ninth-warmest April. North America, Europe, and Oceania had above-average April temperatures but did not rank among the top 20 warmest Aprils on record.
Global ocean temperatures set a new record high for April, reaching 1.55 degrees Fahrenheit (0.86 degrees Celsius) above the long-term average. This represents the second-highest monthly ocean temperature ever recorded, falling just 0.02 degrees Fahrenheit (0.01 degrees Celsius) short of the record set in January 2016.
The year-to-date global temperature, covering January through April 2023, ranked as the fourth-warmest such period on record, with a temperature of 1.85 degrees Fahrenheit (1.03 degrees Celsius) above the 1901-2000 average.
According to NOAA’s Global Annual Temperature Rankings Outlook, there is a greater than 99.0% chance that 2023 will rank among the 10-warmest years on record, with approximately a 93% chance it will be among the top five.
In addition to the high temperatures, April 2023 saw other notable climate events. Global sea ice coverage reached its third-smallest extent on record, with the Arctic and Antarctic both experiencing below-average sea ice extents. The tropics experienced a below-average number of named storms, with only three occurring during the month, falling below the 1991-2020 average.
The data collected by scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information provides important insights into the Earth’s climate and supports informed decision-making by governments, businesses, academia, and the public.
As the world continues to experience high temperatures and the consequences of climate change, the need for proactive measures to mitigate its impact becomes increasingly urgent.