January 2020: Earth’s hottest January ever recorded

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) of the US, has declared January 2020 the hottest January on record. This record beats the previous record holder, January 2016. NOAA’s data stretches back 141 years. “The January global land and ocean surface temperature was the highest on record at 2.05 degrees Fahrenheit (1.14 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average,” NOAA said in a statement. The hot month was not exactly an anomaly, at least not for this century, since the 10 warmest Januaries on record have all happened since 2002, the agency noted.

This NOAA map illustrates the departure from average temperatures in January 2020.

Despite this new record of heat, there were some oddities. Alaska experienced its coldest January since 2012. But Europe, Asia, South America and the rest of the US all logged higher than average temperatures for the month. As scientists warn about the dangers of climate change, heat records keep getting broken with regularity. NOAA announced in January that 2019 was the second-warmest year on record and as at now researchers are even investigating the possibility of a new record high temperature in Antarctica logged earlier in February.

NOAA scientists ran a statistical analysis for the agency’s January global climate report with the result being that, “The year 2020 is very likely to rank among the five warmest years on record.”

Credit: NOAA

Back to top button