In a groundbreaking revelation, January 2024 has etched its name in history as the warmest January ever recorded, as disclosed by the Copernicus climate service of the European Union on Thursday. This assertion is supported by an extensive dataset derived from billions of measurements spanning the globe.
The average global air temperature for January soared to 13.14 degrees, surpassing the January average from 1991 to 2020 by 0.70 degrees and eclipsing the previous 2020 record by 0.12 degrees. Remarkably, January marks the eighth consecutive month to break records as the warmest month.
Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, emphasized, "The year 2024 commences with yet another historic month. Not only does it claim the title of the warmest January on record, but we have also just concluded a 12-month period with temperatures exceeding 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial reference period."
Burgess stressed the urgency of swiftly curbing greenhouse gas emissions as the sole effective measure to halt the escalation of global temperatures.
Unprecedented Warmth Extends to Oceanic Realms
Over the past twelve months, the global average temperature has reached its zenith, standing at 0.64 degrees above the 1991 to 2020 average and a staggering 1.52 degrees above the pre-industrial reference period from 1850 to 1900.
In a parallel development, the global mean sea surface temperature (SST) attained an all-time high for January. Covering the expansive region from 60 degrees south to 60 degrees north latitude, a significant portion of the Earth's surface witnessed a temperature of 20.97 degrees, marking the warmest January ever recorded and surpassing the previous record set in January 2016 by 0.26 degrees. Since January 31st, the sea temperature has continually set new absolute records, surpassing the previous highs recorded on August 23rd and 24th, 2023.
January experienced notable temperature variations across Europe, ranging from values considerably below the 1991 to 2020 average in northern countries to substantially above-average temperatures in the southern regions of the continent. Regions beyond Europe, including Eastern Canada, Northwest Africa, and the Middle East, also reported temperatures well above average. Despite the waning influence of the El Niño weather phenomenon in the equatorial Pacific, sea temperatures persist at unusually elevated levels.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay