The Earth experienced the seventh warmest April since record keeping began in 1880, as the climate phenomenon La Niña continued to be a significant factor. April’s annual Arctic sea ice extent was the fifth smallest since record keeping began in 1979, while the Antarctic sea ice extent was the fourth smallest.

The monthly analysis from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides government, business and community leaders so they can make informed decisions.

Global Temperature Highlights – April

  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for April 2011 was the seventh warmest on record at 57.76 F (14.29 C), which is 1.06 F (0.59 C) above the 20th century average of 56.7 F (13.7 C). The margin of error associated with this temperature is +/- 0.13 F (0.07 C).
  • Separately, the global land surface temperature was 2.02 F (1.12 C) above the 20th century average of 46.5 F (8.1 C), which was the sixth warmest April on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.20 F (0.11 C). Warmer-than-average conditions occurred across most of the southern United States and northern Mexico, much of central South America, Europe and Siberia. Cooler-than-average regions included most of Alaska, western Canada, the northwestern United States, southwestern Greenland and most of Australia.
  • The April global ocean surface temperature was 0.70 F (0.39 C) above the 20th century average of 60.9 F (16.0 C), making it the 11th warmest April on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.07 F (0.04 C). The warmth was most pronounced in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, the northwestern Pacific and across the Southern Hemisphere mid-latitudes.
  • The average temperature was the warmest on record for April across the United Kingdom. Germany reported its second warmest April since records began in 1881.