Record Warm March Temperatures Continue Record-Breaking Periods More than 15,000 warm temperature records broken during March - Common Dreams staff
The contiguous United States experienced the warmest March ever in the warmest start of the year ever in the warmest 12-month period ever, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The record warm March temperatures hit the entire nation with each state having experienced at least one record warm daily temperature. The NOAA reports that there were over 15,000 warm temperature records broken during the month.
The NOAA also connected the record breaking March temperatures to the slew of tornadoes saying that "warmer-than-average conditions across the eastern U.S. also created an environment favorable for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes."
The first three months of the year were record warm for the contiguous United States with an average temperature of 42.0°F, 6.0°F above the long-term average.
The April 2011 to March 2012 period, which included the second hottest summer and fourth warmest winter, was the warmest such period in the contiguous U.S..
Jerry Meehl, climate scientist: “Everybody has this uneasy feeling. This is weird. This is not good.”Looking at whether human-caused global warming was a factor, NOAA analysts wrote in a draft assessment on "Meteorological March Madness 2012": "Our current estimate of the impact of GHG (greenhouse gases) forcing is that it likely contributed on the order of 5% to 10% of the magnitude of the heat wave during 12-23 March. And the probability of heatwaves is growing as GHG-induced warming continues to progress."
And Jerry Meehl, a climate scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, toldthe Associated Press, “Everybody has this uneasy feeling. This is weird. This is not good.”
A report issued last month from the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) linked the increase in extreme weather with human-caused global warming. “The information is all on the table,” Thomas Stocker, one of the report’s lead authors, told EurActiv. “If you have high emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, then you will increase the incidence of ‘hottest days’ by a factor of 10.”
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NOAA: This animation shows the locations of each of the 7,793 daytime and 7,493 nighttime records (or tied records) in sequence over the 31 days in March.