What is in this article?:
- March of 2011 winds up as 13th warmest on record
- Global temperature highlights
- The Earth experienced the 13th warmest March since record keeping began in 1880, as the climate phenomenon La Niña continued to be a significant factor. The annual maximum Arctic sea ice extent was reached on March 7 and tied with 2006 as the smallest annual maximum extent since record keeping began in 1979.
Global temperature highlights
- The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the year to date (January 2011 – March 2011) was 0.77 F (0.43 C) above the 20th century average of 54.1 F (12.3 C), making it the 14th warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.16 F (0.09 C).
- The year-to-date worldwide land surface temperature was 1.08 F (0.60 C) above the 20th century average — the 21st warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.41 F (0.23 C). Warmer-than-average conditions occurred across northern Alaska, far northwestern Canada, southern Greenland and northern Siberia. Cooler-than-average regions included most of Europe, western Russia, Mongolia, much of China, Australia, and part of central North America.
- The global ocean surface temperature for the year to date was 0.65 F (0.36 C) above the 20th century average and was the 12th warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/-0.07 F (0.04 C). The warmth was most pronounced across parts of the central western Pacific Ocean, the tropical Atlantic Ocean, the North Atlantic near Greenland and Canada, and the southern mid-latitude oceans.
- La Niña conditions continued to weaken in March for the third consecutive month, although sea-surface temperatures remained below normal across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, La Niña will continue to have global impacts through the Northern Hemisphere spring, but neither La Nina nor El Nino conditions are expected by June.
- The average high temperatures were the coolest on record for March across Australia. The Northern Territory and the state of South Australia experienced their coldest average maximum temperature in the 62-year period of record while Queensland was the lowest on record since 1971. Within the state of Western Australia, the eastern portion had its coolest March on record while its southwest had its warmest.
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