April 16, 2010

El Nino Causes Record Heat In March

NOAA reported on Thursday that global temperatures caused by El Nino seasonal warming last month created the hottest March on record.

"Warmer-than-normal conditions dominated the globe, especially in northern Africa, South Asia and Canada," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in a statement.

It said that combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for March 2010 was the warmest on record at 56 degrees Fahrenheit.

An analysis from the National Climate Data Center found that average ocean temperatures were the hottest for any March since record-keeping began in 1880, while the global land surface was the fourth warmest for any March on record. 

It also said the January-March period was the planet's fourth warmest on record.

The NOAA used two Asian examples on high March mercury.  It said that the Beijing Climate Center scored Tibet as having its second warmest March since records began in 1951.  According to the India Meteorological Department, Delhi, India had its own second warmest march since 1901 record-keeping.

The U.S. agency said that although El Nino weakened to a moderate strength in March, "it contributed significantly to the warmth in the tropical belt and the overall ocean temperature.

NOAA said that El Nino was expected to maintain its influence in the northern hemisphere "at least through the spring."

March temperatures are expected to give further ammunition to those who believe climate change is an urgent cry that must be addressed on a global level.

The United Nations and several countries have called for a legally-binding agreement on climate change.  However, at a summit in Copenhagen in December countries failed to agree on a deadline to reduce carbon emissions that cause global warming.


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