April may have seemed on the cool side in this country, but globally it was the third warmest on record (and the warmest April ever over land). In fact, the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reports that “globally averaged combined land and sea surface temperature was the warmest on record for January-April year-to-date period.”

Drudge reported the April news perversely: “WARMING ON HOLD? April’s temperatures were below average …

April temperature anomalies are shown on the dot map below. The redder it is, the hotter it is:

map_blended_mntp_04_2007_t1.gif

Note that the real news is that much of Siberia is a stunning 5°C (9°F) above average. This is especially worrisome because:

  1. Siberia contains probably the world’s largest amount of carbon locked away in the permafrost.
  2. The permafrost is increasingly not so perma.
  3. Much of that carbon would be released as methane, which is 23 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

In addition, NCDC notes that “the Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent … was the least sea ice extent in April since records began in 1979.” Finally, the NCDC notes that planetary warming is accelerating:

During the past century, global surface temperatures have increased at a rate near 0.11°F (0.06°C) per decade, but the rate of increase has been three times larger since 1976, or 0.32°F (0.18°C) per decade, with some of the largest temperature increases occurring in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.

We are running out of time to act.

This post was created for ClimateProgress.org, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.