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Luke 21:11

Perilous Times 

Global temperatures chalk up hottest March on Record

      From correspondents in Washington
      From: AFP  April 16, 2010 4:51AM

GLOBAL temperatures fuelled by El Nino seasonal warming last month chalked up the hottest March on record, US weather monitors reported.

"Warmer-than-normal conditions dominated the globe, especially in northern Africa, South Asia and Canada," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said today.

Combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for March 2010 was the warmest on record at 13.5 degrees Celsius, which is 0.77 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average of 12.7 C, it said.

Average ocean temperatures were the hottest for any March since record-keeping began in 1880, while the global land surface was the fourth warmest for any March on record, NOAA said, citing analysis from the National Climate Data Centre.

It said that the January-March period was the planet's fourth warmest on record.

The US agency cited two Asian examples of high March mercury: Tibet had its second warmest March since records began in 1951, it said citing the Beijing Climate Centre, while Delhi, India had its own second warmest March since 1901 record-keeping, according to the India Meteorological Department.

NOAA stressed that while El Nino, the weather anomaly which wreaks havoc on normal weather patterns from the western seaboard of Latin America to east Africa, weakened to a moderate strength in March, "it contributed significantly to the warmth in the tropical belt and the overall ocean temperature".

El Nino was expected to maintain its influence in the northern hemisphere "at least through the spring," NOAA said.

The record March temperatures are likely to give further ammunition to those who believe climate change is an urgent crisis which must be addressed at the global level.

The United Nations and several countries have called for a legally-binding agreement on climate change, but at a summit in Copenhagen in December states failed to agree on a deadline to reduce carbon emissions that cause global warming.