March was the 11th consecutive month a monthly global temperature record was broken, the longest such streak since record-keeping began in 1880, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has said.
“At the risk of sounding like a broken record, March set another heat record for the globe,” Xinhua quoted the NOAA as saying in a statement.
“As Earth continues to warm and is influenced by phenomena such as El Nino, global temperature records are piling up.”
For March, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.22 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average of 12.7 degrees Celsius, according to the NOAA monthly report.
This was not only the highest for the month of March in the 1880-2016 record, but also the highest monthly temperature departure among all months on record, surpassing the previous all-time record set last month by 0.01 degrees Celsius.
Most of the Earth’s land surfaces were warmer or much warmer than average in March, said the report, with record warmth notable across eastern Brazil, most of eastern and central Africa, much of southeastern Asia, and large portions of northern and eastern Australia.
Most of northwestern Canada and Alaska, along with vast regions of northern and western Asia, observed temperatures at least three degrees Celsius above their 1981-2010 average.
The weather phenomenon called El Nino continued to weaken in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean during March, but the month globally averaged sea surface temperature remained 0.81 degrees Celsius above the 20th century monthly average, also a record high.
In total, “the six highest monthly global ocean temperature departures have all occurred in the past six months,” the report said.
For the first three months in 2016, the average temperature for the globe was 1.50 degrees Celsius above the 20th-century average.
This was also the highest temperature for this period in the 1880-2016 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.28 degrees Celsius.