April 6, 2020 – The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Commission, routinely publishes monthly climate bulletins reporting on the changes observed in global surface air temperature, sea ice cover and hydrological variables. All the reported findings are based on computer-generated analyses using billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations around the world.

Surface air temperature anomaly for March 2020 relative to the March average for the period 1981-2010. Data source: ERA5. Credit: Copernicus Climate Change Service/ECMWF

March 2020 surface air temperature:

  • Global temperature was on a par with the second and third warmest Marches (2017 and 2019);
  • In Europe, temperatures were close to or just below average over its westernmost parts, but well above average around the Baltic sea and in the East;
  • Temperature were much above average in large parts of Russia and many regions in Asia, over much of eastern and southern USA, Mexico, southern South America, central Africa and western Australia;
  • Most notable below average temperatures were seen in northern and western Canada, Greenland, Svalbard and east Antarctica.

The map and quoted data values are from ECMWF Copernicus Climate Change Service’s ERA5 dataset. Area averages for temperature over the European region are for land only with the following longitude/latitude bounds: 25W-40E, 34N-72N.

More information about climate variables in March and climate updates of previous months as well as high-resolution graphics can be downloaded here:


More information about the C3S data set and how it is compiled can be found here:


About ECMWF and Copernicus

Copernicus is the European Union’s flagship Earth observation which operates through six thematic services: Atmosphere, Marine, Land, Climate Change, Security and Emergency. It delivers freely accessible operational data and services providing users with reliable and up-to-date information related to our planet and its environment. The Programme is coordinated and managed by the European Commission and implemented in partnership with the Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), EU Agencies and Mercator Océan, amongst others.

ECMWF operates two services from the EU’s Copernicus Earth observation programme: the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). They also contribute to the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS). The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent intergovernmental organisation supported by 34 states. It is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its Member States. This data is fully available to the national meteorological services in the Member States. The supercomputer facility (and associated data archive) at ECMWF is one of the largest of its type in Europe and Member States can use 25% of its capacity for their own purposes.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service website can be found at https://climate.copernicus.eu/
The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service website can be found at http://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/

More information on Copernicus: www.copernicus.eu
The ECMWF website can be found at https://www.ecmwf.int/