Hottest January in Earth’s history recorded in 2020

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States reduced the numbers and declared the warmest January recorded in January 2020. That was 0.02C higher than the previous record in January 2016.

The NOAA report showed that January 2020 marked the 44th consecutive January and the 421st consecutive month with nominal temperatures above the 20th-Century average.

The record January temperatures follow the news that 2019 was the second hottest year on record for the entire planet.

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

The hot month was not exactly an anomaly, at least not for this century.

Closer to home, the United Kingdom had its sixth warmest January since national records began in 1884. The four warmest Januaries have occurred since 2016; while the 10 warmest Januaries have all occurred since 2002. The degree of Arctic ocean ice was 5.3 percent underneath the normal from 1981-2010, and Antarctic ocean ice was 9.8 percent beneath the normal.

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There were some oddities.

Notably, the record was "the highest monthly temperature departure without an El Niño present in the tropical Pacific Ocean".

Heat records break regularly as scientists warn about the dangers of climate change.

"This kind of nation-wide warmth in January isn't unique, but it's rare", the NOAA said.

According to NOAA, "the most notable warmer-than-average land temperatures" this January "were present across much of Russian Federation and parts of Scandinavia and eastern Canada, where temperatures were 9.0°F (5.0°C) above average or higher". The results? "It is very likely that the year 2020 is among the five warmest years in history".

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