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January 2020 was Earth’s warmest on record

Map of Earth with seven red spots and two blue spots.

View larger. | Image via NOAA.

In the span of 141 years of climate records, there has never been a warmer January than last month, according a report released Thursday (February 13, 2020) by scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. The previous record-hottest January was in 2016.

According to the NOAA data, the average global land and ocean surface temperature last month was 2.5 degree Fahrenheit (1.14 degrees Celsius) above the 20th-century average. January 2020 marked the 44th consecutive January and the 421st consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th-century average.

In the entire NOAA climate record, which began in 1880, the four warmest Januaries have occurred since 2016; while the 10 warmest Januaries have all occurred since 2002.

Last month showed record-warm January surface temperatures across parts of Scandinavia, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the central and western Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and Central and South America. No land or ocean areas had record-cold January temperatures.

For a more complete summary of climate conditions and events, see NOAA’s January 2020 Global Climate Report.

Map of Earth covered mostly with pink, dark pink and red areas showing higher than average temperatures.

View larger. | Image via NOAA.

Bottom line: January 2020 was Earth’s hottest January in the climate record.

Via NOAA

Eleanor Imster

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