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Copernicus February 2022: Winter is warmer in Europe than average;  Sea ice around Antarctica has reached an all-time low

Copernicus February 2022: Winter is warmer in Europe than average; Sea ice around Antarctica has reached an all-time low

The deviation in the surface air temperature for February 2022 from the February average for the period 1991-2020. Data source: ERA5. Source: Copernicus Climate Change Service / ECMWF.

Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S)implemented by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast on behalf of the European Commission, routinely publishes monthly climate bulletins that report on changes observed in the global report. surface air temperatureAnd the sea ​​ice And the Hydrological variables. All reported results are based on computer-generated analyzes using billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations around the world.

Surface air temperature in February 2022:

  • The average global temperature for February 2022 was about 0.2°C higher than the average for February 1991-2020
  • This was well below the high temperatures of February 2016, 2017 and 2020, and much the same as the February average between 1998 and 2019
  • Temperatures were well above average over western and northern Russia and parts of the Arctic Ocean and well below average in large parts of North America and China.
  • Europe as a whole was 2°C warmer than average, but still 1.6°C cooler than the warmest February (February 1990) in the record set since 1979.

Temperatures during Winter 2022 (December 2021 – February 2022) in the Arctic

  • Arctic winter temperatures in 2021/22 were well above average over southeastern Europe and western Asia as well as below average in much of Canada
  • The winter as a whole in Europe was about 1°C warmer than the 1991-2020 average


The deviation in the surface air temperature of the Arctic winter from December 2021 to February 2022 compared to the mean winter for 1991-2020. Data source: ERA5. Source: Copernicus Climate Change Service / ECMWF.

Daily distribution of sea ice in February 2022

  • Antarctic sea ice distribution was 27 percent below the 1991-2020 average for February, the second lowest in measured years with large areas with below-average sea ice concentrations in the Ross Seas, West Amundsen and North Weddell.
  • In February, the daily distribution of sea ice around Antarctica reached its lowest value ever.
  • The distribution of Arctic sea ice was only 2 percent below the 1991-2020 average, which continues the pattern with below-average but not very low distributions since July 2021.
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Time series of the daily distribution of sea ice in Antarctica for 2017 (blue), 2018 (green) and 2022 (red). The image in shades of gray shows the daily mean (solid line), the cut-off (light shading) and springtime (dark shading) interval during 1991–2020, as well as the daily minimum and maximum during 1979–2022 (dashed lines) . Data source: EUMETSAT OSI SAF Sea Ice Index v2.1. Source: C3S / ECMWF / EUMETSAT.


Left: Average Antarctic sea ice concentration for February 2022. The thick orange line indicates the February climatic ice cap for the period 1991-2020. Right: Anomalies in Antarctic sea ice concentration for February 2022 compared to the February mean for the period 1991-2020. Data source: ERA5. Source: Copernicus Climate Change Service / ECMWF.

Maps and specific temperature data values ​​are from the ECMWF Copernicus Climate Change Services ERA5 dataset. Zone averages of temperatures over the European zone are only for countries with the following latitude/longitude limits: 25W-40E, 34N-72N.

The maps and data values ​​for sea ice were taken from a set of information from ERA5, as well as from EUMETSAT OSI SAF Sea Ice Index v2.1 and Sea Ice Concentration CDR/ICDR v2 and Fast Track data provided as requested by OSI SAF.

C3S followed the recommendation of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to use the past 30 years to calculate climate averages and changed to the 1991-2020 reference period for C3S Climate Bulletins covering January 2021 and beyond. Figures and graphics for both the new and earlier periods (1981-2010) are provided for transparency.

More information on February’s climate fluctuations and climate updates from previous months as well as high-resolution graphics can be downloaded here:

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More information about how C3S data is collected:

More information about changing the reference period:

Answers to frequently asked questions about temperature monitoring:

About Copernicus and ECMWF

About ECMWF and Copernicus

Copernicus is part of the European Union’s Space Programme, funded by the European Union, the flagship Earth observation programme. The operation operates through six thematic services: Atmosphere, Marine, Land, Climate Change, Security and Emergencies. It provides freely available operational data and services that provide users with reliable and up-to-date information about our planet and its environment. The program is coordinated and managed by the European Commission and implemented in partnership with Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMTSAT), the European Center for Medium Distance Forecasting (ECMWF), European Union agencies, Mercator Océan and more.

ECMWF operates two services of the European Union’s Copernicus Earth Observation Program: the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). They also contribute to the Copernican Emergency Management Service (CEMS), which is implemented by the European Union Joint Research Council (JRC). The European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent intergovernmental organization supported by 34 countries. It is a 24/7 operational research and service institute that produces and publishes digital weather forecasts to its member states. These data are fully available to the national meteorological services of the member states. The supercomputer facility (and associated data archives) at the ECMWF is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and member states can use 25% of its capacity for their own purposes.

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ECMWF has increased the number of places in which it does business. In addition to the UK headquarters and the computing center in Italy, new offices focusing on activities implemented in partnership with the European Union, such as Copernicus, will be located in Bonn, Germany starting in the summer of 2021.

Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service:

Copernicus Climate Change Service:
More information about Copernicus:


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Nuria Lopez
Communication | Copernicus contracts and the press
General manager’s office
European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
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Bjorn Mogensen
Oxenstierna Communication
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