WASHINGTON: The year 2010 is turning out to be the warmest ever in recorded history, with the first four months reporting an average temperature of 13.3 degrees Celsius which is 0.69 degrees above the 20th century average.
The combined global land and ocean surface temperatures for the period between January and April were the warmest on record, and April was the warmest individual month ever, America's climate agency has said in its latest report.
The combined April global land and ocean average surface temperature was the warmest on record at 14.5 degrees Celsius (58.1 degrees F).
This is 0.76 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average of 13.7 degrees Celsius, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), said.
The earth's temperature for January-April at 56.0 degrees Fahrenheit (13.3°C), is 1.24 degrees Fahrenheit or (0.69°C) above the 20th century average, it said.
While the global ocean surface temperature was 0.57 degrees C above the 20th century average of 16 degrees and the warmest on record for April, the global land temperature was 1.29 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average of 8.1, the third warmest on record for April.
The report said the warmth was most pronounced in the equatorial portions of major oceans, especially the Atlantic.
Warmer-than-normal conditions dominated the globe, with the most prominent warmth in Canada, Alaska, eastern US, Australia, South Asia, northern Africa and northern Russia.
Cooler-than-normal places included Mongolia, Argentina, far eastern Russia, the western contiguous United States and most of China, it said.
The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a climate pattern that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean on average every five years, weakened in April, as sea-surface temperature anomalies decreased across the equatorial Pacific.
The climate pattern is known for its association with floods, droughts and other weather disturbances in many regions of the world, which vary with each event.
The weakening contributed significantly to the warmth observed in the tropical belt and the warmth of the overall ocean temperature for April.
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, El Niño is expected to continue through June.
The agency said the Arctic sea ice was below normal for the 11th consecutive April, and 2.1 per cent below the 1979-2000 average extent. It was, however, the largest April Arctic sea ice extent since 2001.
Further, satellite observations showed snow cover extent was fourth-lowest on record since 1967.