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Unusually high temperatures: January 2024 was the warmest since measurements began

Unusually high temperatures: January 2024 was the warmest since measurements began
January 2024: Lots of wind, little snow and unusually high temperatures
Image: (Volker Weihbold)
Warmest January graphic

The European Union’s climate change service Copernicus announced this on Thursday. At an average of 13.14 degrees Celsius, the air temperature on the earth’s surface was 0.7 degrees higher than the average for the reference period from 1991 to 2020 and 0.12 degrees higher than the highest January temperature so far in 2020.

  • Also read: 48.8 degrees: Europe’s new scientifically confirmed heat record

“2024 starts with a record month – not only is it the warmest January ever recorded, but we have also just experienced a twelve-month period of more than 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial reference period,” said Copernicus Deputy Director Samantha Burgess. Rapid reductions in greenhouse emissions are the only way to stop rising global temperatures, she warned.

Warmest January graphic

1.66 degrees higher than average temperature

The data used by Copernicus goes back to 1950, but some earlier data is also available.

The mean temperature for January 2024 was also 1.66 degrees higher than the estimated average temperature for this month in the period between 1850 and 1900. According to the information, the global average temperature for the past twelve months from February 2023 to January 2024 was also as high as never before. It was 0.64 degrees higher than the reference period from 1991 to 2020.

  • On the subject: Gloomy forecast for the ski areas in Austria

A mixed picture emerged in Europe. While it was significantly cooler in the Nordic countries than the average for the reference period, it was significantly warmer in the south of the continent. Temperatures were also above average in eastern Canada, northwest Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, while temperatures were colder than average in western Canada, the central United States and most of Siberia.

Unusually high level continues

The El Niño weather phenomenon has begun to weaken in the equatorial Pacific, but air temperatures over the sea remain at unusually high levels, the Copernicus statement continued. The recurring weather phenomenon heats up the Pacific every few years.

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The European Union’s climate change service Copernicus regularly publishes data on surface temperatures, sea ice cover and precipitation. The findings are based on computer-generated analyzes that incorporate billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations around the world.

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