WASHINGTON, April 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. government reports that last month's global climate made it the hottest March in modern history.
Average temperatures across the world's surface (land and sea) were 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the 20th century average of 54.9 F, according to a report, released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
In 136 years of active record keeping, no March has been warmer. Its temperatures surpassed the previous record set in 2010.
March 2015 temperatures on land alone made it the second warmest month on record; on the ocean, the third.
Arctic sea ice was also the lowest on record for last month at 430,000 square miles (7.2 percent) below the 1981-2010 average.
If conditions persist, 2015 may beat 2014 as the hottest year since 1880. Gavin Schmidt, leader of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies, told Climate Central, "We expect that we are going to get more warm years, and just as with 2014 [the hottest year on record], records will be broken increasingly in the future. But perhaps not every year."