March 2015 Was The Hottest Since Records Began
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released their first quarter State of the Climate report for 2015 and, predictably, the numbers offer more depressing news for those concerned about/who believe in climate change. March temperatures in 2015 were, NOAA says, the highest in the 136 years since temperatures were first recorded.
According to the report many regions saw “warmer or much warmer than usual” temperatures, including the western U.S. and Canada, swaths of eastern Africa, Scandinavia and northwestern Russia and parts of southern China. While there were many regions who saw cooler temperatures than average the March, those did nothing to ameliorate the larger trend towards a heating Earth.
Here’s the breakdown:
- March 2015 was the hottest global temperature for the month ever recorded. This combines the land temperature, which was the 2nd hottest recorded; and the sea surface temperature, which was the 3rd hottest.
- Year-to-date temperatures (January-March 2015) were also the hottest on record, with land and sea surface temperature reaching 1st and 3rd respectively.
- Arctic sea ice has shrunk 7.2% from 20th century averages while Antarctic sea ice has grown an astonishing 24.3% above the average from 1981-2010. (Antarctic land ice is still shrinking, though)
- March snow cover also saw a decrease of 640,000 square miles. This is slightly less dramatic than it sounds as it was only the 7th smallest March snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere.
You can read NOAA’s full report here. In the map below, the reddest dots show areas where the March temperature reached a record high.
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