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Copernicus: second lowest measured distribution of sea ice in Antarctica;  Fifth warmest March in the world

Copernicus: second lowest measured distribution of sea ice in Antarctica; Fifth warmest March in the world

Anomalies in surface air temperature during March 2022 compared to the March average for the period 1991-2020. Data source: ERA5. Source: Copernicus Climate Change Service / ECMWF.

Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S)implemented by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast on behalf of the European Commission, routinely publishes monthly climate bulletins that report on changes observed in the global report. surface air temperatureAnd the sea ​​ice And the Hydrological variables. All reported results are based on computer-generated analyzes using billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations around the world.

Surface air temperature in March 2022:

  • The global average temperature for March 2022 was about 0.4°C higher than the March 1991-2020 average, making it the fifth warmest March on record.
  • Europe as a whole was about 0.4°C cooler than average in March 2022, the third coldest over the past 10 years.
  • There was a variation in temperature anomalies in Europe, with warmer-than-average conditions in the north and cooler-than-average conditions in the south; These cold conditions extended to North Africa and to Russia
  • It was abnormally hot in large parts of the Arctic and Antarctica
  • The North Pole had the fourth warmest March on record
  • In Antarctica, the highest daily temperature records were smashed


Average monthly temperature deviations in the Arctic from 1979 to 2022, compared to 1991-2020. Data source: ERA5. Source: Copernicus Climate Change Service / ECMWF.

Sea Ice Status in March 2022

  • The distribution of Antarctic sea ice for March was 26 percent below the 1991-2020 average, the second lowest in 44 years from satellite measurements, with large areas of below-average sea ice concentrations in the Russian seas. Amundsen and North Weddell.
  • The distribution of Arctic sea ice was 3 percent below the 1991-2020 average, which continues the pattern with below-average values, but not the very low distributions observed since July 2021..
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Left: The mean Antarctic sea ice concentration for March 2022. The thick orange line indicates the March climatic ice cap for the period 1991-2020. Right: Anomalies in Antarctic sea ice concentration for March 2022 compared to the March average for the period 1991-2020. Data source: ERA5. Source: Copernicus Climate Change Service / ECMWF.

Maps and specific temperature data values ​​are from the ECMWF Copernicus Climate Change Services ERA5 dataset. Area averages for European temperatures are only above ground at the following latitude/longitude limits: 25W-40E, 34N-72N. Area averages for temperatures over the Arctic are for all regions north of 66N.

The maps and data values ​​for sea ice were taken from a set of information from ERA5, as well as from EUMETSAT OSI SAF Sea Ice Index v2.1 and Sea Ice Concentration CDR / ICDR v2 and quickly accessible data that is provided on request by OSI SAF.

C3S followed the recommendation of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to use the past 30 years to calculate climate averages and changed to the 1991-2020 reference period for C3S Climate Bulletins covering January 2021 and beyond. Figures and graphics for both the new and previous periods (1981-2010) are provided for transparency.

More information about March weather changes, weather updates from previous months and high-resolution graphics can be downloaded here:

More information about how C3S data is collected:

More information about changing the reference period:

Answers to frequently asked questions about temperature monitoring:

About Copernicus and ECMWF

Copernicus is part of the European Union’s Space Programme, funded by the European Union, the flagship Earth observation programme. The operation operates through six thematic services: Atmosphere, Marine, Land, Climate Change, Security and Emergencies. It provides freely available operational data and services that provide users with reliable and up-to-date information about our planet and its environment. The program is coordinated and managed by the European Commission and implemented in partnership with Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMTSAT), the European Center for Medium Distance Forecasting (ECMWF), European Union agencies, Mercator Océan and more.

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ECMWF operates two services of the European Union’s Copernicus Earth Observation Program: the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). They also contribute to the Copernican Emergency Management Service (CEMS), which is implemented by the European Union Joint Research Council (JRC). The European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent intergovernmental organization supported by 35 countries. It is a 24/7 operational research and service institute that produces and publishes digital weather forecasts to its member states. These data are fully available to the national meteorological services of the member states. The supercomputer facility (and associated data archives) at the ECMWF is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and member states can use 25% of its capacity for their own purposes.

ECMWF has increased the number of places in which it does business. In addition to the UK headquarters and the computing center in Italy, new offices focusing on activities implemented in partnership with the European Union, such as Copernicus, will be located in Bonn, Germany starting in the summer of 2021.

Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service:

Copernicus Climate Change Service:
More information about Copernicus:


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Media connection

Nuria Lopez
Communication | Copernicus contracts and the press
General manager’s office
European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
Reading, UK | Bologna, Italy
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +44 (0) 118949 9778
Mobile: +44 (0) 7392277523
Twitter: Tweet embed

Bjorn Mogensen
Oxenstierna Communication
+46 708-184298
[email protected]

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