January was warmest on record

Last month was hottest January on record: US climate service

NOAA: Hottest global January EVER!

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

Earth has set another heat record.

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

Land and ocean surface temperatures surpassed the 20th century January average of 53.6 degrees Fahrenheit (12 deg C) by 2.05 degrees, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

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One of the scariest statistics is that the four warmest Januaries documented in the climate record have all occurred since 2016; the 10 warmest have all occurred since 2002.

The hot month was not exactly an anomaly, at least not for this century. The Southern Hemisphere was 0.78C above average - its second-warmest January on record after January 2016.

While January 2020 was the warmest January so far overall, different parts of the globe saw differences in temperature rankings.

Polar sea ice coverage also remained smaller than normal - 5.3 percent below the 1981-2010 average, the NOAA report said, with snow coverage on the Northern Hemisphere also below the aforementioned span.

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There were some oddities.

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

Notably, the January temperatures mark the largest ever departure from average without the presence of an El Niño in the Pacific Ocean, in which warmer waters can drive up global air temperatures.

We are not done yet.

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Back in December 2015 at the United nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), world leaders and governments signed the Paris Agreement, making a pledge to keep a global temperature rise this century below 2 degree Celsius (3.6 degree Fahrenheit). "The January warming trend since 1991 has been almost triple the longer-term rate".

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