NCDC Releases March 2012 Global State of the Climate Report: Coolest March Global Temperatures Since 1999

The Earth experienced a combined average temperature for March 2012 that was the 16th warmest on record, as La Niña continued to dissipate and arctic sea ice extent remained below average. While the global temperature did remain above the 20th century average, the March 2012 global temperature was the coolest March temperature since 1999. March 2012 also marks the 36th March and 325th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last March with below average temperatures was March 1976. The last month with below average temperatures was February 1985.

Additionally, arctic sea ice extent during March 2012 was below average but was the largest extent since 2008 and one of the largest March extents of the past decade. La Niña conditions also continued to weaken during March 2012, as temperatures across the equatorial Pacific Ocean warmed over the last two months. According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, La Niña is expected to dissipate by the end of April 2012.