February 2017 was the second warmest February in 137 years of modern record-keeping, scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York have found.
Last month was 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean February temperature from 1951-1980, according to the monthly analysis of global temperatures by the GISS team.
Overall, February 2016 was the hottest ever on record, at 1.3 degrees Celsius warmer than the February mean temperature, NASA said in a statement on Wednesday.
February 2017's temperature was 0.20 degree Celsius cooler than February 2016.
The monthly analysis 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 did not cover enough of the planet.