The 2020s are off to an ominously warm start. The planet just saw its warmest January in records going back to 1880, NOAA concluded in its monthly global climate report issued Thursday.
Feeding into this record were the warmest land temperatures and the second warmest ocean temperatures on record, according to NOAA. When averaged vertically across the lowest 8 kilometers (5 miles) of the atmosphere, global satellite-measured temperatures were the warmest or second warmest for January in the 42-year record, according to the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) and RSS, respectively.
The worldwide average surface temperature ended up 1.14°C (2.05°F) above the 20th-century norm, narrowly topping the 1.12°C (2.01°F) from January 2016. The warmest four Januaries in the NOAA record have all occurred since 2016.
Similar to NOAA, Europe’s Copernicus Climate Change Service placed January 2020 narrowly above January 2016. As of this writing, NASA had not released its monthly report.
Spring's first "leaf-out" (phenological model) is already occurring in a large part of Georgia (via @USANPN: https://t.co/aHi1tOfhVV). This is nearly two weeks earlier than average. pic.twitter.com/zjUlKB9l2Q
— Zack Labe (@ZLabe) February 5, 2020
Antarctica broke two temperature records in a week
“We have never seen anything like this.”