March Smashes Global Temperature Records Keeping Heat Streak Alive

11 straight months of temperature records

Temperature Differences
Temperature Differences
Land and sea temperature departures from average for March 2016NOAA NCEI

Even NOAA thinks it's starting to sound like a broken record. This March was the warmest on record. Ever.

It beat out all other Marches of the past to get the title of hottest March since record-keeping began in the late 1800's. It beat the previous record (which was, oh yes, March 2015) by 0.54 degrees Fahrenheit. This March was also the highest deviation from 'normal' global temperatures, a record that was previously reached in February 2016. Those normal global temperatures were recorded between 1951 and 1980, and were then averaged to generate a baseline. The data comes from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, which looks at temperature changes over long periods of time (decades as opposed to days).

In addition to the heat, NOAA reported that March had the distinction of another record as well, the lowest maximum sea ice in the Arctic. Sea ice in the region covered only 5.61 million square miles, 431,000 square miles below average.

If it sounds like a familiar story, that's because we've written this many, many times before. Last winter was one of the warmest on record in the United States. 2014 and 2015 were also record-breaking years, and with the addition of March to its already hot lineup, 2016 is likely to surpass both.

We only have to wait about another month to see if April will keep the streak alive, bringing the grand total of record breaking months to a nice, round year.