Global climate change

March global temperature and Arctic sea ice update

By Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
4/18/2018, 10:18:07 AM

NASA's GISS has released their March 2018 global land/ocean surface temperature departure data. According to GISS, March 2018 was the sixth warmest March on record going back to 1880.

March 2018 averaged 0.89 of a degree Celsius above the 1951-1980 mean, which also makes this the 36th consecutive March that has averaged above normal. The warmest March on record occurred in 2016.

Breaking it down further, March 2018 was the fourth warmest on record for the Northern Hemisphere, averaging 1.16 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.

March 2018 was also the fifth warmest March on record for the Southern Hemisphere with a temperature departure of +0.62 of a degree Celsius.


Arctic sea ice situation

March sea ice extent for the Arctic region was the second lowest on record, coming behind March of 2017. The satellite measured sea ice extent record goes back to 1979.

You can clearly see the steady decline on the March chart below. Courtesy the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

The graph below shows the current Arctic sea ice extent this year compared to the normal range and that of 2012 (dashed line), which was the year with the lowest minimum extent on record. As you can see, this year is still running well below that of 2012.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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Global climate change