By Andrea Thompson
15 April 2016
(Climate Central) – New global temperature data released on Friday by NASA put March at 2.3°F (1.28°C) above the 1951-1980 average for the month, making it the warmest March on record. It beat out the previous warmest March, from 2010, by 0.65°F (0.36°C) — a handy margin.
It also marked the 11th month in a row to set such a record, beating out the previous such streak of 10 months set back in 1944.
March also marked six straight months with temperatures that were more than 1°C above average, a notable mark given the stated goal of international climate talks to keep warming in the 21st century below 2°C (with some talk of even aiming for 1.5°C).
March wasn’t as anomalously warm as February, which retains its title as the most anomalously warm month on record. (January 2016 had previously held the number one position.)
Several other agencies around the world keep their own global temperature records, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which will release its March numbers next Tuesday. So far this year, the NOAA and NASA data has tracked fairly closely.
The Japan Meteorological Agency put March at 1.93°F (1.07°C) above the 20th century average. Each agency uses different baselines and their numbers can differ slightly from each other because of different ways of processing the temperature data. […]
The succession of temperature records has also been accompanied by other notable climate records, including the biggest ever year-to-year jump in carbon dioxide levels at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, as well as a record low winter Arctic sea ice peak. The Arctic, in fact, has been one of the most anomalously warm areas of the planet over the past year and is warming at twice the rate of the planet as a whole. [more]