Global temps varied in March |

Global temps varied in March

SUMMIT COUNTY ” Hot, cold, Less ice, more ice.

The latest monthly update from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on global climate is full of mixed signals that won’t help when it comes to making conclusions about global warming.

And it’s not supposed to. The federal agency merely tracks and compiles global data from a variety of sources to create a big-picture view of the planet.

Based on that compilation, March 2009 was the 10th warmest globally since record-keeping began in 1880. The Northern Hemisphere experienced its 12th warmest March on record, while the March 2009 Northern Hemisphere average ocean surface temperature tied with 2001 and 2006 for seventh warmest.

For the Southern Hemisphere, March 2009 land surface temperature was the fourth warmest March on record, while the March 2009 ocean surface temperature was sixth warmest.

Snow and ice cover was near the 1967-2009 average in the Northern Hemisphere, but below average over Europe and Asia.

Arctic sea ice, often used as an indicator of global warming, was at its sixth-lowest March level. Arctic sea-ice cover has decreased at an average rate of 2.7 percent per decade since 1979.

But Antarctic sea ice expanded to its fourth-greatest level during the 31-year span of observations. Since 1979, Antarctic sea ice extent for March has increased at an average rate of 4.7 percent per decade.

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