READING (AP) — The amount of sea ice in Antarctica in March was nearly 30 percent less than the average for the month. It was the second lowest reading for March, after a record low in February, according to the European Union’s Climate Change Service Copernicus announced on Thursday. Also in the Arctic, the range was below average. “Monitoring climate is essential to understanding these rapid and ongoing changes at both poles,” said Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the service, according to a statement.
For comparison, Copernicus experts use data from the reference period from 1991 to 2020. With the help of measurements and satellite images, they document the effects of persistent man-made global warming.
The second warmest March on record
Globally, this past March was the second warmest since records began. In southern and central Europe, temperatures were well above average, while in northern Europe they were much lower. March was also warmer than usual in North Africa, parts of Russia and most of Asia, and new record temperatures were set in many places.
There was also an increase in weather extremes in March: according to Copernicus, the Iberian Peninsula experienced drier conditions than usual for this time of year, which in some cases led to forest fires. Parts of the USA, Asia and Africa, on the other hand, experienced significantly more humid conditions, which in some cases led to flooding.
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