February 2018 was the sixth warmest February in 138 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.
Last month was +0.78°C warmer than the average February of the 1951-1980 period. The only months of February warmer than that occurred in 2016 (+1.34°C), 2017 (+1.12°C), 1998 (+0.90°C), 2015 (+0.87°C), and 2010 (+0.79°C).
The monthly analysis by the GISS team is assembled from publicly available data acquired by about 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, ship- and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research stations.
The modern global temperature record begins around 1880 because previous observations didn’t cover enough of the planet. Monthly analyses are sometimes updated when additional data becomes available, and the results are subject to change.