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Renewable Vibes > News > Enviroment > The global temperatures over the past year have broken records, surpassing the critical threshold of 1.5°C warming.

The global temperatures over the past year have broken records, surpassing the critical threshold of 1.5°C warming.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) has confirmed that January 2024 was the warmest January globally on record. C3S, reporting on behalf of the European Commission, has released its monthly climate update, which includes information on changes in global surface air and sea temperatures, sea ice cover, and hydrological variables.

All the findings presented in the report are based on computer-generated analyses of data on atmospheric, land, and oceanic climate variables. According to C3S, the average surface air temperature in January 2024 was 13.14°C, which is 0.70°C above the 1991-2020 average for January and 0.12°C above the previous warmest January in 2020. This marks the eighth consecutive month that has broken the record for the warmest respective month of the year.

C3S derived these findings from a system called ERA5, which uses hourly data generated from billions of measurements collected by satellites, ships, aircraft, and weather stations worldwide. The organization also reports that the global mean temperature for the past twelve months (February 2023 to January 2024) is the highest on record, surpassing the 1991-2020 average by 0.64°C and the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average by 1.52°C.

Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of C3S, highlights the significance of these records, stating, “2024 starts with another record-breaking month – not only is it the warmest January on record but we have also just experienced a 12-month period of more than 1.5°C above the pre-industrial reference period. Rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are the only way to stop global temperatures from increasing.”

In terms of regional variations, European temperatures in January 2024 ranged from below the 1991-2020 average in Nordic countries to well above average in the southern part of the continent. Outside Europe, temperatures were above average in eastern Canada, northwestern Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia, while below average in western Canada, the central USA, and most of eastern Siberia.

The report also highlights the record-breaking sea surface temperatures (SST) in January 2024. The average global SST over the global extrapolar ocean, covering 60 degrees south to 60 degrees north, reached 20.97°C, the highest for January. It was 0.26°C warmer than the previous warmest January in 2016 and the second-highest value for any month in the ERA5 dataset.

C3S found that Arctic sea ice extent in January 2024 was close to average and the highest for January since 2009. Areas with above-average sea ice concentrations included the Greenland Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, while below-average concentrations were observed in the Labrador Sea. Antarctic sea ice extent in January was the sixth lowest, 18% below average but higher than the record-low recorded in 2023.

Regarding precipitation, January 2024 was wetter than average in large parts of Europe, with storms impacting north- and south-western Europe. Dry conditions were observed in southeastern and northern Spain, the Maghreb, southern UK, Ireland, eastern Iceland, most of Scandinavia, northwestern Russia, and the eastern Balkans. Beyond Europe, wetter-than-average conditions were observed in various regions, including western and southeastern USA, Eurasia, southeastern South America, southeast Africa, and northern and eastern Australia. On the other hand, drier-than-average conditions prevailed in parts of western and southern North America, Canada, the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and south-central Asia, contributing to wildfires in Australia and Chile.

Overall, the findings of C3S highlight the continued trend of increasing global temperatures and the urgent need for significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate further temperature rises.

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