• 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.

Scientists, researchers and leaders in government and industry use NOAA’s monthly analyses to help track trends and other changes in the world's climate. This climate service has a wide range of practical uses, from helping farmers know what and when to plant, to guiding resource managers with critical decisions about water, energy and other vital assets.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us on Facebook.