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World faced hottest March ever: EU climate agency

New Delhi

The world experienced the hottest March ever, making it the tenth month in a row that is the warmest on record, the European Union climate agency said on Tuesday.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said that the average surface air temperature was 14.14 degrees Celsius globally which was 0.73 degrees Celsius above the 1991-2020 average for March and 0.10 degrees Celsius above the previous high set in March 2016.

Moreover, the global average temperature is also the highest on record, with the past 12 months being 1.58 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The global average temperature for the past twelve months (April 2023 – March 2024) is the highest on record, at 0.70°C above the 1991-2020 average and 1.58°C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average.

Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of Copernicus Climate Service (C3S), said that March 2024 continues the sequence of climate records toppling for both air temperature and ocean surface temperatures, with the 10th consecutive record-breaking month.

“The global average temperature is the highest on record, with the past 12 months being 1.58°C above pre-industrial levels. Stopping further warming requires rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,’ Burgess said.

The agency said that Europe registered as the second warmest March on record for the continent.

“The average European temperature for March 2024 was 2.12°C above the 1991-2020 average for March, making the month the second warmest March on record for the continent, only a marginal 0.02°C cooler than March 2014. Temperatures were mostly above average in central and eastern regions,” the agency noted.

Beyond Europe, the agency said regions experiencing above-average temperatures included eastern North America, Greenland, eastern Russia, Central America, parts of South America, numerous African regions, southern Australia, and segments of Antarctica.

Despite a weakening El Nino in the eastern equatorial Pacific, marine air temperatures remained notably elevated.

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The global sea surface temperature averaged over 60°S-60°N reached a historic high of 21.07°C for March, marginally surpassing the previous record set in February.

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