NOAA Data Shows That 2016 Is Way Hotter Than All The Other Really Hot Years We've Been Having

21/04/2016 2:22 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST
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Setting sun on horizon

The climate is warming and it's heating even faster than many scientists predicted. That's the message from America's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which has released a monthly containing a bunch of pretty scary numbers.

In a nutshell, 2016 has so far been the hottest year to date in the 136 years that data has been measured. Globally, January, February and March were all the hottest on record, as were the eight previous months. That's now an 11 month streak of hottest-ever months.

Here are some more key points of the NOAA's March report:

  • The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for March 2016 was 1.22°C (2.20°F) above the 20th century average. This marked the highest monthly temperature departure among all 1,635 months on record. Which really rams home how it's getting hot, fast.
  • Those 11 straight months of above average temps? They're the longest such streak in NOAA's 137 years of record keeping.
  • The above-average temperatures were fairly uniform. This was not one corner of the world having a drought or a heatwave. It was almost everywhere being warmer no matter what the weather. You can see that illustrated really clearly in the map embedded in the tweet below.

The NOAA didn't forget about us little ol' Aussies either. Here's their summary

"The mean March temperature for Australia was the highest in the country's 107-year period of record, at 1.70°C (3.06°F) higher than the 1961–1990 average. The warmth was widespread. All states and territories observed temperatures among their eight highest for March, with New South Wales and Victoria record warm."

Here at the Huffington Post Australia, we love crunching a bit of good old Aussie weather data. So when the NOAA said we're having a hot old time, we looked into what was happening in our capital cities.

You can read what we came up with below. We compared the average maximum temps for Jan, Feb and March in our eight capital cities with the historical averages. That's 24 separate measurements. The results?

Average maximum temperatures were slightly or significantly above average in 21 of the 24 months (8 cities x 3 months each). That's a hugely meaningful data set when you consider you're taking samples from so many different climatic zones . It shows the whole atmosphere is getting warmer. And that we need to stop pumping out greenhouse gases.

beach snow

It's been quite the ride for global temperatures.

Do we really? Yes, we do. This reporter is no fan of the game of "my graph is bigger than yours" which people play to argue over climate science.

The only thing you really need to know is that the temperature of the earth has fluctuated by tens of degrees in the past. But these changes have happened slowly over huge chunks of time.

Global warming is an industrial age phenomenon. The warming correlates far too neatly with the rise of industrial society to be a coincidence.

That's the bad news. The good news is it's great beach weather this Thursday, on the east coast of Australia at least.

HOT IN THE CITIES -- Aussie capital city temperatures for the first three months of 2016 compared to their historical averages



Jan longterm average max: 25.9

Jan 2016 average max: 27.4

Feb longterm average max: 25.8

Feb 2016 average max: 28.2

March longterm average max: 24.8

March 2016 average max: 26.8


Jan longterm average max: 26.0

Jan 2016 average max: 26.0

Feb longterm average max: 25.8

Feb 2016 average max: 25.1

March longterm average max: 23.9

March 2016 average max: 24.9


Jan longterm average max: 30.2

Jan 2016 average max: 30.4

Feb longterm average max: 30.0

Feb 2016 average max: 32.0

March longterm average max: 29.0

March 2016 average max: 29.9


Jan longterm average max: 29.4

Jan 2016 average max: 31.2

Feb longterm average max: 29.5

Feb 2016 average max: 29.3

March longterm average max: 26.4

March 2016 average max: 28.6


Jan longterm average max: 29.7

Jan 2016 average max: 32.0

Feb longterm average max: 30.0

Feb 2016 average max: 32.2

March longterm average max: 28.0

March 2016 average max: 29.6


Jan longterm average max: 28.0

Jan 2016 average max: 28.5

Feb longterm average max: 27.1

Feb 2016 average max: 29.3

March longterm average max: 24.5

March 2016 average max: 27.7


Jan longterm average max: 21.7

Jan 2016 average max: 22.5

Feb longterm average max: 21.7

Feb 2016 average max: 23.8

March longterm average max: 20.0

March 2016 average max: 21.6


Jan longterm average max: 32.2

Jan 2016 average max: 33.0

Feb longterm average max: 32.4

Feb 2016 average max: 33.5

March longterm average max: 32.7

March 2016 average max: 33.7

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