Global Temperature Horse Race | 7 Warmest Years on Record

March Global Temperature Change*

Rankings: March 1880 - March 2016
Comparisons with 20th Century Global Average Surface Temperature

Rank

Year

Change in
Temperature*

Warmest March
2016
+1.22°C  +2.20°F
Coolest March
1898
-0.66°C   -1.19°F
    Data retrieved:
April 19, 2016

*Surface temperature changes relative to 20th Century global average (1901 - 2000)
Source data  NOAA-NCEI State of the Climate: Global Analysis  [Web + data download]

 

NOAA/NCDC: The combined average global surface temperature for March 2016 was the highest for the month of March in the 1880–2016 record, at 1.22°C (2.20°F) above the 20th century average. This surpassed the previous record set in 2015 by 0.32°C / (0.58°F), and marks the highest monthly temperature departure among all 1,635 months on record, surpassing the previous all-time record set just last month by 0.01°C (0.02°F). Overall, the nine highest monthly temperature departures in the record have all occurred in the past nine months. March 2016 also marks the 11th consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken, the longest such streak in NOAA's 137 years of record keeping. [NOAA global analysis for March 2016 accessed April 19, 2016].

 

"The science is sobering—the global temperature in 2012 was among the hottest since records began in 1880. Make no mistake: without concerted action, the very future of our planet is in peril."

~ Christine Lagarde, Managing Director
International Monetary Fund
[video][text]

 

NOAA's global analysis for 2015 lists 2015 as the warmest year on record since 1880 at 0.90°C above the 20th Century average.  The year 2014 is the second warmest at 0.74°C above the average.  The year 2013 was the fourth warmest at 0.66°C above the average.  [NOAA global analysis for 2015 accessed January 20, 2016].

 

"Globally-averaged temperatures in 2015 shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit (0.13 Celsius). Only once before, in 1998, has the new record been greater than the old record by this much."

~ NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies [NASA post of January 20, 2016]

 

Before the end of 2015, scientists projected that average global temperature increase for 2015 will exceed 1°C above pre-industrial levels.  The years 1850-1990 are used as the pre-industrial baseline by the MET Office and Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the UK.  The MET Office released this statement in November 2015:

 

"This year marks an important first but that doesn't necessarily mean every year from now on will be a degree or more above pre-industrial levels, as natural variability will still play a role in determining the temperature in any given year.  As the world continues to warm in the coming decades, however, we will see more and more years passing the 1 degree marker - eventually it will become the norm."

~ Peter Stott
Head of Climate Monitoring and Attribution (MET Office)

 

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