Global temperatures in January 2024 were higher than at any time this month on record. This was announced by the European Union's climate change service Copernicus. Accordingly, the air temperature on the earth's surface, at an average of 13.14 degrees Celsius, was 0.7 degrees higher than the average for the reference period from 1991 to 2020 and 0.12 degrees higher than the temperature in January 2020, which was recorded as the warmest January to date . The data used by Copernicus goes back to 1950, but some earlier data is also available.
The mean January temperature in 2024 was also 1.66 degrees higher than the estimated average temperature in January between 1850 and 1900. According to the information, the global average temperature of the past twelve months from February 2023 to January 2024 was also higher than ever before . It was 0.64 degrees higher than the reference period from 1991 to 2020.
There are regional differences
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. It was also warmer than average in eastern Canada, northwest Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, while it was colder than average in western Canada, the central United States and most of Siberia.
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 added. The recurring weather phenomenon heats up the Pacific every few years.
Reminder to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
"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.
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.