Europe experiences warmer than average winter; Antarctic sea ice extents reaches lowest value on record in February

Copernicus: Europe experienced a warmer than average February and winter; Daily sea ice extent around Antarctica reached its lowest value on record during February.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Commission with funding from the EU, routinely publishes monthly climate bulletins reporting on the changes observed in global surface air temperature, sea ice cover and hydrological variables.

All the reported findings are based on computer-generated analyses using billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations around the world.

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February 2022 surface air temperature:

  • The global average temperature for February 2022 was about 0.2ºC higher than the 1991-2020 average for February
  • This was well below February values for 2016, 2017 and 2020, and broadly similar to values for five other Februarys between 1998 and 2019
  • Temperatures were much above average over western and northern Russia and parts of the Arctic Ocean, and much below average over large parts of North America and China
  • Europe as a whole was more than 2ºC warmer than average, yet 1.6°C cooler than the warmest February (February 1990) in the record dating back to 1979

Temperature boreal winter 2022 (December 2021 - February 2022)

  • Boreal winter temperatures in 2021/22 were much above average over south-eastern Europe and western Asia, and much below average over a large part of Canada
  • Winter for Europe as a whole was almost 1ºC warmer than the 1991-2020 average
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Sea ice February 2022:

  • Antarctic sea ice extent was 27% below the 1991-2020 average for February, ranking 2nd lowest in this 44-year data record, with large areas of below average sea ice concentration in the Ross, western Amundsen, and northern Weddell Seas.
  • During February, daily sea ice extent around Antarctica reached its lowest value on record.
  • Arctic sea ice extent was just 2% below the 1991-2020 average, continuing the pattern of below average but not extremely low extents seen since July 2021.
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