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After Record-Breaking 2016 Heat, 2017 Continues Trend
April 5, 2017
There was no let-up in the years-long global heatwave last month, as March ended up being the second-warmest ever, just 0.10 degrees Celsius behind the record warmth of March 2016. According the European Copernicus Climate Change Service, February and March 2017 showed most significant warm anomaly since April 2016, when the mega El Niño was fading away.
The near-record March warmth is the latest in an extraordinary string of heat for the planet, including the stretch between August 2015 to September 2016, when each month successively became the warmest on record for that particular calendar month.
March 2017 was warmer than the 1981-2010 average over almost all of Europe, particularly so over the east of the continent. Over northern Russia, peak warmth reached to 15 degrees Celsius above normal. Temperatures were also well above average above the contiguous USA, and over and off the coast of West Antarctica, where sea-ice extent remained extremely low. Other relatively warm areas include the famine-threatened regions of Central and East Africa, and much of Australia.