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March Was The Most Abnormally Hot Month Ever Recorded On Earth

The global average temperature during March was 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average — the biggest deviation since records began in 1880.

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March 2016 was the most abnormally warm month on record for planet Earth, U.S. scientists announced Tuesday, continuing what has been a record-breaking 11-month heat streak.

The global average temperature in March was 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 54.9 degrees, according to a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That made March the biggest deviation from the average since NOAA started keeping records in 1880.

The 11-month streak of consecutive record-breaking monthly temperatures is also the longest such streak in 137 years of record keeping, NOAA reported.

The spike in temperatures was fueled by the ocean-warming effects of El Niño in the Pacific and, climate scientists say, greenhouse gas emissions.

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Even as El Niño conditions weakened in the Pacific Ocean, the global average sea surface temperature remained 1.46 degrees above the monthly average in March — also a record, NOAA reported.

The report, which builds off data released earlier this month by NASA and the Japanese Meteorological Agency, adds to what has become a steady drumbeat of new warming records. And that has some worried that the public is starting to tune out.

"It's becoming monotonous in a way," Jason Furtado, a meteorology professor at the University of Oklahoma, told the Associated Press. "It's absolutely disturbing...We're losing critical elements of our climate system."


Jason Wells is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Jason Wells at jason.wells@buzzfeed.com.

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