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Warmest Ever: March and Q1, 2015

Posted by feww on April 18, 2015

Record low Arctic sea ice extent for March

Globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces (SST) for March 2015 was the highest for the month since record keeping began 135 years ago. The average temperature was also record high for the first quarter of the year, said the State of the Climate report.

Global Highlights: March 2015

  • Globally averaged temperature for land and SST was 1.53°F (0.85°C) above the 20th century average, the highest for March in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2010 by 0.09°F (0.05°C).
    • Globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.97°F (1.65°C) above  average, tied  with 1990 as the second highest for the month on record.
    • SST was 0.99°F (0.55°C) above average, third highest ever recorded for March (1880–2015).
  • The average Arctic sea ice extent for March was 430,000 square miles (7.2 percent) below the 1981–2010 average—the smallest March extent since records began in 1979 (NSIDC).
  • Antarctic sea ice during March was 420,000 square miles (24.3 percent) above the 1981–2010 average— second largest March Antarctic sea ice extent on record.
    • The record largest March Antarctic sea ice extent occurred in 2008 and was 100,000 square miles larger than the March 2015 extent. [1 square mile ~ 2.6km²]

March 2015 Selected Climate Anomalies and Events Map (NOAA)

Global highlights: Year-to-date (January–March 2015)

  • Globally averaged temperature for land and SST was 1.48°F (0.82°C) above the 20th century average, the highest for the first quarter in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2002 by 0.09°F (0.05°C).
  • Globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.86°F (1.59°C) above the 20th century average, the highest for January–March on record, surpassing the previous record of 2002 by 0.09°F (0.05°C)
  • SST for Q1 was 0.95°F (0.53°C) above the 20th century average, the third highest for January–March in the 1880–2015 record.

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for March 2015, published online April 2015, retrieved on April 18, 2015 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2015/03.

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