This year’s mild winter weather was a welcome reprieve from last year’s frigid conditions, but it has shattered local climate records.
The average temperature this past winter was the highest ever recorded locally, according to Environment Canada’s climate record for Moncton. This was not just a local phenomenon, it fits into a yearlong pattern of regular global climate records being broken as a result of manmade climate change.
The average temperature in Moncton this past winter, which Environment Canada defines as the months of December, January, and February, was -3.57° Celsius. This is more than 4° higher than last winter’s mean temperature of -8.48°, but within 1.5° of the mean of three winters in the last decade: 2012, 2010, and 2006. The winter of 1958 was almost as warm as this winter, with a mean temperature of -3.7°, which is the only other recorded winter in Moncton to have an average temperature above 4°.
2015 was the warmest year ever recorded globally, breaking this record for the second consecutive year, and this January, February, and March reached the warmest temperatures ever recorded globally for those months. March became the eleventh consecutive month to break its global temperature records, and early reports from NASA show that April may have continued this record.
While no month in 2016 has broken a local climate record yet, last December was the warmest December ever recorded in Moncton.
Numerous scientific bodies, such as NASA and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), say that this regular temperature record breaking is a strong sign that manmade climate change is accelerating.