Where's winter? A number of countries just witnessed their warmest January ever recorded
Posted February 5, 2020 9:42 a.m. EST
CNN — It's not just you -- January was toastier than usual for many parts of the world.
The global temperature last month was warmer than every previous January on record, just edging out the previous record from January 2016, the Copernicus Climate Change Service reported.
And in Europe, it was the warmest January ever recorded at 0.2ºC warmer than the previous record in 2007, the European Union's system for monitoring the Earth said.
The rise is even more striking through the lens of history -- compared to the average January temperature in the pre-industrial years before the 20th century, it was about 1.4 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer.
Spring-like warmth in Europe
Last month, temperatures in Europe were warmer than the 1981-2010 January average, especially over parts of northern Europe, the report said. Some areas were more than 6°C above the average, but overall, it was 3.1°C warmer than the average January in that time period.
It also brought the warmest January day ever recorded in Norway, which saw the second warmest January overall since 1900.
And in Central and southern Finland, it was its warmest January recorded since 1961.
The heat wave extended to several parts of Russia, too.
Temperatures from east of Greenland to the northwest of Svalbard were warmer, and had below-average sea-ice cover.
Global temperatures from 2019
Globally, last year was 0.59°C warmer than the 1981-2010 average. That's the second warmest year on record. The warmest 12-month period remains October 2015 to September 2016, where it was 0.66°C above 1981-2010.
Those averages are pushing global temperatures close to red lines set by both climate scientists and world leaders.
Scientists have warned that global temperatures should be kept well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming. The international community, as outlined through the Paris Climate Agreement, stated that participating countries would strive to keep global warming limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
But coupled with a rise since pre-industrial temperatures, last month's average is between 1.2 and 1.4 deg C of warming -- putting it near the Paris Climate Agreement's ceiling.