March 2024 breaks global heat records, prompting urgent climate action


TN&MTMarch 2024 has rewritten the record books, emerging as the warmest March ever recorded globally, according to data released by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). This milestone marks the tenth consecutive month of surpassing historical heat levels, highlighting the alarming trajectory of rising global temperatures.

March 2024 breaks global heat records, prompting urgent climate action

The latest statistics from C3S reveal that March 2024 experienced an average ERA5 surface air temperature of 14.14°C, surpassing the 1991-2020 average for March by a significant 0.73°C. Moreover, it exceeded the previous high set in March 2016 by 0.10°C. These figures underscore a disturbing trend of escalating global temperatures.

Further analysis indicates that March 2024 was a staggering 1.68°C warmer than the estimated March average for the pre-industrial era reference period of 1850-1900. This unprecedented warmth is reflected in the global-average temperature for the past twelve months (April 2023 – March 2024), which stood at 0.70°C above the 1991-2020 average and a remarkable 1.58°C above the pre-industrial average.

Europe experienced its second warmest March on record, with temperatures soaring 2.12°C above the 1991-2020 average. Central and eastern regions bore the brunt of this heat, with deviations from average temperatures most pronounced in these areas.

Outside Europe, regions experiencing temperatures well above average included eastern North America, Greenland, eastern Russia, Central America, parts of South America, many parts of Africa, southern Australia, and parts of Antarctica.

While the El Niño weakened in the eastern equatorial Pacific, marine air temperatures remained at unusually high levels, contributing to the overall warmth observed in March 2024. The global sea surface temperature averaged for March over 60°S–60°N reached 21.07°C, the highest monthly value on record.

These alarming statistics underscore the urgent need for decisive action to address climate change. The unprecedented heat observed in March 2024 serves as a stark reminder of the rapidly escalating climate crisis and the profound impacts it poses to ecosystems, communities, and economies worldwide.

As the world grapples with the consequences of rising temperatures, there is a growing recognition of the need for bold and immediate action. From reducing greenhouse gas emissions to investing in renewable energy and adaptation measures, concerted efforts are required to mitigate the impacts of climate change and secure a sustainable future for generations to come.

Ngoc Huyen (the Copernicus Climate Change Service)


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