Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

March 2016 Was Hottest on Record by Greatest Margin Yet Seen for Any Month

Climate
March 2016 Was Hottest on Record by Greatest Margin Yet Seen for Any Month

Earth is on a roll.

Adding "yet another month to a new mountain chain of extreme global temperature peaks," March 2016 was the warmest since at least 1891, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

"One stunning feature from the March 2016 temperature map was just how universally warm the month was," writes NOAA scientist. Photo credit: fuzzytractor/flickr/cc)

Not only that, but, as February did, March broke the previous record by the greatest margin yet seen for any month. Compared to the 20th-century average, March was 1.07°C hotter across the globe, according to the JMA figures, while February was 1.04°C higher.

If April also sets a monthly record—and there's no reason to think it won't—"the Earth will have had an astonishing 12 month string of record-shattering months," writes Andrew Freedman for Mashable.

Graph: Japan Meteorological Agency

The JMA's findings are likely to be confirmed by forthcoming reports from the UK Met Office as well as NASA and NOAA, whose satellite data indicates last month was the warmest March in records dating to 1979.

Scientists have pinned the record warmth to a combination of human-caused climate change and this year's strong El Niño event.

Responding to the news, professor Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State University, told the Guardian: "Wow. I continue to be shocked by what we are seeing."

"The [new data] is a reminder of how perilously close we now are to permanently crossing into dangerous territory," Mann said. "It underscores the urgency of reducing global carbon emissions."

As Common Dreams reported, last month's NASA data showed that February 2016 was not only the hottest in recorded history, but it soared past all previous records, prompting scientists to describe the announcement as "an ominous milestone in our march toward an ever-warmer planet."

Meanwhile, NOAA said last week that March 2016 was among the warmest on record for the contiguous United States, and that Alaska had seen "its warmest start to the year on record, while 32 states across the West, Great Plains, Midwest and Northeast were much warmer than average" between January and March.

What's more, pointed out NOAA climatologist Deke Arndt in a blog post this week, "If you were alive during March 2016, and I'm betting you were, you witnessed U.S. history."

"One stunning feature from the March 2016 temperature map was just how universally warm the month was," wrote Arndt. "Every one of the 357 climate divisions across the contiguous United States and Alaska ended up—at least—in the 'warmer than normal' category."

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Democratic Debate Brings Fiercest Exchange Yet on Climate Change, Fracking

NOAA Scientist Creates New Way to Track Carbon Pollution

Al Gore and Neil deGrasse Tyson Talk the Future of Our Planet

Danger, Will Robinson: Oil Industry Knew CO2-Climate Link in ‘68

A late snowfall could set back the growth of this budding lilac. oddharmonic / Flickr, CC BY-SA

By Richard B. Primack

Weather patterns across the U.S. have felt like a roller coaster ride for the past several months. December and January were significantly warmer than average in many locations, followed by February's intense cold wave and a dramatic warmup.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A majority of America's dams require billions of dollars in upgrades for them to handle heavier precipitation. skibreck / Getty Images

By Jeff Masters

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave America's infrastructure a C- grade in its quadrennial assessment issued March 3. ASCE gave the nation's flood control infrastructure – dams and levees – a D grade. This is a highly concerning assessment, given that climate change is increasingly stressing dams and levees as increased evaporation from the oceans drives heavier precipitation events.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Alex Wong / Getty Images

By Jacob Carter

On Wednesday, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced that it will be rescinding secretarial order 3369, which sidelined scientific research and its use in the agency's decisions. Put in place by the previous administration, the secretarial order restricted decisionmakers at the DOI from using scientific studies that did not make all data publicly available.

Read More Show Less
Producing avocado and almond crops is having a detrimental effect on bees. Molly Aaker / Getty Images

At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.

Read More Show Less
An electric vehicle is plugged in to an EV charging station at a Walmart parking lot in Duarte, California on Sept. 14, 2018. FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images

Six major U.S. electricity utilities will collaborate to build a massive EV charging network across 16 states, they announced Tuesday.

Read More Show Less