World experiences hottest March on record, 10th consecutive month of unprecedented heat

europe's copernicus climate change service (c3s) has announced that the world experienced its warmest march on record, marking the 10th consecutive month of unprecedented heat. according to the agency, march 2023 averaged 14.14 degrees celsius (57.9 degrees fahrenheit), surpassing the previous record set in 2016 by a mere 0.01 degrees celsius. additionally, the monthly average was a staggering 1.68 degrees celsius (35 degrees fahrenheit) higher than the average march temperature between 1850 and 1900, which serves as the reference point for the pre-industrial era.

this unprecedented heat streak has led to 2023 already marking the hottest year on record since records began in 1850. the copernicus climate change service has attributed the warming to the long-term trend of increasing greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity.

further evidence of the destabilizing effects of global heating comes from the recording of unprecedented high sea surface temperatures, despite the onset of an el niño weather phenomenon that typically leads to warmer waters in the central and eastern tropical pacific.

according to c3s, the global sea surface temperature in march averaged 21.07 degrees celsius (69.93 degrees fahrenheit), exceeding the previous record set in february 2023. these soaring sea temperatures are instrumental in the destabilization of weather patterns, leading to an increase in extreme weather events.

scientists have warned that the combination of these two records further exemplifies the increasingly observable relationship between greenhouse gas emissions, caused by human activity, and the heating of the planet.

samantha burgess, deputy director of c3s, voiced her concerns over these record-breaking trends, stating: "it's the long-term trend with exceptional records that has us very concerned."

she added, "seeing records like this — month in, month out — really shows us that our climate is changing, is changing rapidly."

urgent action is thus required to mitigate the impacts of climate change and prevent further warming.

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