According to an analysis by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), April 2017 was the third consecutive month with the second-highest global average temperatures in the 138-year temperature record. The year-to-date temperatures from January through April 2017 also ranked second-warmest. At both the poles, sea ice extents were at or near record low levels.
NOAA reported that the average global temperature for April 2017 was 1.62 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 56.7 degrees F (13.7 C). This was the second-highest for April in the 1880-2017 record.
The year-to-date average temperature was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 54.8 degrees. This was the second-highest for this period on record; 0.34 of a degree cooler than the record set in 2016.
NOAA reported continuing record-low sea ice at both poles The average Arctic sea ice extent was 6.9 percent below the 1981-2010 average for April and tied with 2016 as the smallest in April since records began in 1979. At the other end of the Earth, the average Antarctic sea ice extent in April was 18.2 percent below the 1981-2010 average and ranked as second smallest extent on record for the month.
Bottom line: According to a NOAA analysis, 2017 had the 2nd highest April and year-to-date global temperatures on record. April 2017 also saw record-low Arctic, near-record-low Antarctic sea ice.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as an EarthSky.org Editor, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She and her husband live in Tennessee, where they enjoy guitar playing and singing. They have 2 grown sons.