Top of the world sees yet another record hot month

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Sun sets in the Barents Sea. Photo: Thomas Nilsen
Sun sets in the Barents Sea. Photo: Thomas Nilsen
Planet Earth, and particularly the Arctic, is heating up for the 11th month in a row with never seen before average temperatures.

The three first months of 2016 have been a continuation of the extreme heat wave seen in the high Arctic in late December last year when Christmas temperatures at the North Pole reached up to 0° Celsius.

New global temperature data released on Friday by NASA put March at 2.3°F (1.28°C) above the 1951-1980 average for the month, making it the warmest March on record. It beat out the previous warmest March, from 2010, by 0.65°F (0.36°C) — a handy margin, said a report by Climate Central.

The planet temperature map by NASA shows how temperatures today differ from the 1951-1980 average. Arctic measurements are of particular concern with abnormal heat ranging from 2 to 6° C above average for the three first months of 2016.

Map by NASA.
Map by NASA.

Scientists say a combination of global warming and the current El Nino cause the record heat wave.

In February, the Arctic sea ice seen from satellites clearly proved something is terribly wrong. Instead of growing, like normally mid-winter, extent of the sea ice declined in the European part of the Arctic, including the Barents- and East Greenland Seas.

Also the waters west and northwest of Novaya Zemlya had way less sea ice than normal.

2016Jan-MarTempAnomalies_720_492_s_c1_c_c

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canadian study looks at Arctic beetles as climate change markers, Radio Canada International

Finland:  Warm Easter predicted across Finland… even for Lapland, Yle News

Greenland:  Changing Sea Ice: The Ripple Effect (VIDEO), Eye on the Arctic

Norway: 2014 warmest year in history for Norway, Barents Observer

Sweden: Storm Helga weather warning for Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: Arctic’s ‘startling’ winter warmth ‘milepost’ say scientists, Alaska Dispatch News

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Levon Sevunts

Levon Sevunts, Radio Canada International

Born and raised in Armenia, Levon started his journalistic career in 1990, covering wars and civil strife in the Caucasus and Central Asia. In 1992, after the government in Armenia shut down the TV program he was working for, Levon immigrated to Canada. He learned English and eventually went back to journalism, working first in print and then in broadcasting. Levon’s journalistic assignments have taken him from the High Arctic to Sahara and the killing fields of Darfur, from the streets of Montreal to the snow-capped mountaintops of Hindu Kush in Afghanistan. He says, “But best of all, I’ve been privileged to tell the stories of hundreds of people who’ve generously opened up their homes, refugee tents and their hearts to me.”

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