Get used to these words because you're going to have to read them over and over again: "hottest temperatures ever" and "shatters temperature records." After 2015 coming in as the warmest year on record, and February 2016 breaking global temperature records by a "stunning" margin, latest figures showed that March also stuck to the script and smashed records.
Different agencies are reporting slightly conflicting numbers, but none of them bring good news. America's National Aeronautics and Space Administration said March was 1.27 ºC higher than the average temperature in March from 1951 to 1980. The Japan Meteorological Agency meanwhile, said March 2016 was 1.07 ºC above the 20th century average. Satellite datasets are also recording the massive anomaly, and assessment from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is also expected this week.
All of them are likely to be in agreement about one thing: March was spectacularly hot.
These two graphs illustrate that a little better.
That means we have had 11 record-breaking months in a row, putting us in truly uncharted territory. The sheer margin of the temperature anomalies is shocking. The last hottest March ever, for example, was in 2010. Then, the temperature had come in at 0.36ºC warmer than the 20th century average, per NASA records. March 2016 is a full 1.28 ºC warmer than the average.
Again, this chart, from ClimateCentral.org, explains better.
Remember, the climate change negotiations that countries have been engaged with are focused on trying to ensure that temperatures don't go up by more than 2 ºC over the 21st century. As of 2016, we have already had six months in a row with temperatures that were more than 1ºC higher than the global average.
Climate scientists are already predicting that 2016 will be the hottest year on record since, well, 2015, but by an even bigger margin.