Heat waves are becoming more frequent, even during the months when we are still used to wearing scarves and coats. Overall, the month of March which has just ended was the fifth hottest in the last thirty years. This is confirmed by monitoring data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service, the European Union-funded service that regularly publishes monthly climate bulletins.
The global average temperature in March 2022 was about 0.4°C above the 1991-2020 average, while in Europe last March was the third coldest in 10 years.
There was a contrast in temperature anomalies across Europe, with warmer than average conditions in the north and cooler than average in the south. Cold conditions spread to North Africa and Russia.
The most worrying news comes from the Arctic and Antarctic regions, where abnormal heat conditions have been recorded. Specifically, the Arctic experienced the fourth warmest March on record; on the other hand, in Antarctica, records for daily maximum temperatures have been broken.
The situation of Arctic glaciers is increasingly dramatic
Naturally, the record heat also had a deleterious impact on the glaciers of the North Pole and the South Pole. The scenario recorded in Antarctica is very worrying, where the extent of the sea ice for the month of March was 26% lower than that of 1991 – average 2020 -, i.e. the second lowest of the 44 years of monitoring.
The areas most affected by the phenomenon were the Ross, Amundsen and North Weddell seas. For the Arctic, on the other hand, sea ice extent was 3% below the 1991-2020 average.
Glacial melting continues at an increasingly rapid rate. Just days ago, satellites recorded the sinking of Antarctica’s Conger Ice Shelf (the same size as Rome) in the ocean.
The glacier collapse is just one of the most dramatic events to affect Antarctica in recent decades. And this is one of the many signals that our planet sends us asking us to reverse the course of global warming as soon as possible. Before it’s really too late.