Following the second warmest February on record, the month of March extended the trend.
Globally, March temperatures were the second highest on record, an average of 1.89 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 54.9 degrees, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday. Last year was the only year that saw a warmer March than 2017.
March was also the first month the average temperature was more than 1.8 above or below the average temperature during a year without an El Nino effect, NOAA said. This puts the year of 2017 in second place for the warmest temperatures in the first quarter of the year, again, only behind 2016.
March had the lowest level of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice since 1979 when researchers began monitoring and measuring sea ice each year.
While some states in the U.S. saw record-breaking high-temperature days in March, it was only the 30th warmest March on record for North America. This is because the planet is not only warming, the climate is changing and becoming more variable with the increase in CO2 emissions from human activity. Europe and Oceania, however, had their second warmest March on record.