Report: March was Earth’s warmest on record
CAPTION University of Alabama - HuntsvilleAlthough a large chunk of the USA didn't get in on the warmth in March, the rest of the world sure did.
March was the warmest March ever recorded worldwide, theNational Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported Thursday. NCDC records go back to 1880.
Another source, the University of Alabama-Huntsville, also reported that March 2010 was the warmest March since their climate records began in 1979.
According to the climate center, the combined global land and ocean average surface temperature in March was 56.3 degrees, which is 1.39 degrees above the 20th-century average of 54.9 degrees. Additionally, the worldwide ocean surface temperature was the highest for any March on record -- 1.01 degree above the 20th century average of 60.7 degrees.
This was the 34th consecutive March with global land and ocean temperatures above the 20th century average.
The warmth in northern Canada and the Arctic was also noteworthy. Temperatures there soared to as much as 15 degrees above average for the month, the University of Alabama-Huntsville noted. The UAH dataset uses satellite measurements of temperatures from the surface up to about five miles in altitude.
"We have seen similar large anomalies on a month-to-month basis in the Arctic during the cold months (Dec. - March) in the past," noted climatologist John Christy of the University of Alabama-Huntsville. "This particular case is interesting because it persisted somewhere in the Arctic for four months."
Contributing to the record month was El Nino, a periodic warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean that, combined with changes in winds and air pressure, can affect weather worldwide.
In addition, climate researchers have been reporting rising global temperatures for several years as a result of the Greenhouse Effect, in which rising levels of carbon dioxide and others gases in the atmosphere trap heat instead of allowing it to escape out into space.
According to the Beijing Climate Center, Tibet experienced its second-warmest March since historical records began in 1951. Delhi, India also had its second-warmest March since records began in 1901, according to the India Meteorological Department.
For the year-to-date, the NCDC reports that the January through March period is the world's 4th-warmest on record.
The USA is enduring a very strange year, weatherwise. While Florida is shivering through its chilliest year ever so far, three states in New England (Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont) are enjoying their warmest year ever, according to the climate center.
Contributing: Associated Press
By Doyle Rice