As the map above shows, this past March was quite toasty, with the global average temperature of the land and ocean surfaces registering as the warmest on record, the National Climatic Data Center reported on Friday.
The temperature of the global land surface alone was the fourth warmest on record, according to the NCDC.
In some circles, the news was met with derision. Over at the National Review’s Planet Gore blog, for example, Chris Horner says he “doesn’t understand the furor.” I’m not sure what furor he’s referring to. But in any case, here’s the rest of his take:
I just read 2,000 Hansen e-mails lecturing us all (who were living through a third harsh winter in a row) about the fact that individual years don’t mean anything and only a fool would bother unscientifically drawing attention to such small climatic time-scales. Now we’re supposed to care about a month?
The whiplash continues.
Fair enough. One month actually does not mean much. Climate change is a decadal phenomenon. So what’s been happening to temperatures in March over a decadal time scale?
As the graph above shows, last month was the 34th consecutive March during which average global surface temperature (the land and ocean) exceeded the 20th Century average. (Source: National Climatic Data Center.) The last time March temperatures were below the 20th Century average was in 1976.
It is very easy to look at the chart above and see the increasing temperatures over the last 120 years. It does not mater if you are looking at air over land or over the sea. The trend is the same. And now this March was the warmest on record.
This does not bode well for water supplies here in the West. And the Iceland volcano may not be helping us any here. An explosion of an Icelandic volcano over 200 years ago not only wrecked the European economy but also disrupted the monsoon seasons, bringing famine to wide areas. It also had some effect on North American weather.
This volcano may not be causing chaos in the air travel plans of millions. It could be a harbinger of some really nasty shortages.