Hottest January on record exceeds 1.5°C benchmark

| 09/02/2024 | 37 Comments
Surface air temperature anomaly for January 2023 relative to the January average for the period 1991-2020. Data source: ERA5. (Credit: Copernicus Climate Change Service/ECMWF)

(CNS): The average global temperature last month was 1.66°C above pre-industrial levels, the warmest January on record, and rounded off a 12-month period over which the planet topped the 1.5°C benchmark, the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) has confirmed. In its monthly climate update on the changes in global air and sea temperatures, C3S reported an average surface air temperature of 13.14°C in January 2024, which is 0.7°C above the 1991-2020 average for the month and 0.12°C above the temperature of the previous warmest January in 2020.

Despite the bout of cold weather in some parts of the northern hemisphere, 2024 began with a January that was 1.66°C warmer than the January average for 1850-1900. Climate scientists say that global temperatures must not rise more than 1.5°C above this pre-industrial reference period to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

“2024 starts with another record-breaking month,” said C3S Deputy Director Samantha Burgess. “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 increasing.”

Temperatures across Europe varied greatly throughout the month, from below average temperatures over Nordic countries to well above average over the south of the continent. Outside Europe, temperatures were well above average over eastern Canada, north-western Africa, the Middle East and central Asia, and below average over western Canada, the central USA and most of eastern Siberia.

The El Niño warming phenomenon began to weaken in the equatorial Pacific, but marine air temperatures in general remained at unusually high levels, scientists have said.

According to the UK’s Met office, the outlook for 2024 suggests that more global temperature records will be broken and it is almost certain to be the warmest year on record.

Professor Adam Scaife, the head of long-range prediction at the Met Office, said the global temperatures are being temporarily boosted by the El Niño event in the tropical Pacific. But he added, “The main driver for record-breaking temperatures is the ongoing human-induced warming since the start of the Industrial Revolution.”


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Category: Climate Change, Science & Nature, Weather

Comments (37)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If the CIG wants to retain a Finance industry, access to mortgage banking, a population of skilled professionals and home owners, it must seek to create its own territorial insurance company, calibrated specifically to the actuarial risk of Cayman. Storms like the “atmospheric river” Nor’Wester of last week used to be shrugable secondary risks, but now they are becoming primary claims. Without insurance, there are no mortgages, no professional work force, no office tenants, and with huge unserviceable territorial debts coming due.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    This is where Christianity falls apart,

    ‘thou shall not steal’

    yet we’re unashamedly stealing the future from our children. 😐

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  3. Anonymous says:

    simple solutions
    stop eating meat and stop having children.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    The glaring fact is we know what we need to do but we’re not willing to make the sacrifices to do it, – oh well, the sun’s predicted to die in 5 billion years anyway…

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  5. Some guy with odd shoes says:

    Let’s break it down to a more manageable level, right here with us personally.

    There is little doubt that wherever people congregate, they ruin the natural environment. Thus, cities are where the worst of negative human influence; already our society here is not sustainable without outside supplies. We are roughly 130 years away from the time where we could sustain ourselves, and even then, we needed trade with the outside for goods that we couldn’t produce.

    If you haven’t figured it out yet, I have thrown in with the “Fix the Dump” guy, because it is the least of what we should be able to accomplish; it is a disgrace that the current solution is to move it out of sight, and pretty up the remains. Horrible.

    So, to keep it on the personal level, we can do a few things to help. We cannot fall into the trap of feeling that the problem is so much bigger than us that our contribution doesn’t matter, although that is probably the case when we look at the big picture.

    First, the Earth will be just fine after we human germs have passed. There are single-use plastics that are currently difficult to avoid, namely the plastic that our bread comes in, and the like. At the very least, re-using those plastics until they are used up, is a good thing to do. We can carry a reusable shopping bag to the grocery store, and even though it is a pain in the ass, we can elect to not use the thin bags that we put our produce in.

    We can not waste as much water. We can choose to live more simply, but then, of course, our careers will suffer. It is long past the time where we could have put in protected bike lanes everywhere, but not yet too late for the Brac and Little Cayman.

    Alternative energies, as much as we want to embrace them, are not, imo, evolved sufficiently to replace the fossil fuels we currently use to power our lives. That is not to say that we shouldn’t embrace them wherever possible. Eventually humans will create alternative energies that will replace them.

    The bottom line is that it is a matter of degrees of change. We should do all that we can, and not take the stance that ‘it’s all too large for me’ or that our contribution is too small to matter. Great changes take place slowly, so go ahead and let your friends laugh at your new velomobile, or your little solar panel that you use to power your wee 12-volt water pump.

    Baby steps may not contribute diddly to the whole, big giant picture, but they help us evolve — kicking and screaming — toward that which will eventually make our species better.

    Does the IPCC overinflate their findings? My research indicates yes. You do your own research. That doesn’t mean that their direction is wrong. Is there a shitload of money tied up in Climate Change study and whole businesses and other entities making boatloads of money on it? Certainly.

    It doesn’t mean that we can continue to be careless with our environment and our world. We need to leave successive generations more than our problems.

    End of lecture, and sorry for the novella. To those of you who made it this far, give yourself a cookie.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    segway: and we still can’t get past the $4.50/hour Minimum Wage for outside workers. and mostly blue collars

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Adapt or die, species on this planet have been doing it for millennia. Even if humans sped the process along it is the inevitable cyclical nature of our plant and the universe.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    The world has been around for a few million years or so…it’s been a lot warmer than now, it’s been cooler than now.

    Man made climate change simply isn’t a blot on the historical natural heating and cooling. But man’s ego dictates it must be something we’re doing. They used to have incredible grape vines in the UK, and they also used to be under 30ft of ice caps,

    An electric car or 2 isn’t going to change whatever the world wants to happen to itself.

    We’re nuts, we are in a warming cycle. That’s it. Nothing we do will change it. If it becomes too hot for us, so be it; but the world will still be here.

    We really aren’t a very bright group.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So you’re saying that the evidence that human activity is contributing to warming beyond the expected warming is just fake news ?

      Ppl like you who think they are smarter than everyone else when they clearly don’t have any reason to reasonably believe so, are the problem.

      If this was the dark ages you would have been saying dumb shit like “who cares if when we throw out sewage in the streets that the prevalence of disease goes up, disease is a part of nature! Nothing that humans do can make us more vulnerable to suffering, that just ludicrous”.

      Dumb af.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The evidence that humans have polluted air, soil, all bodies of water and space and have abruptly added massive manmade EMF’s to our environment? Yes!

        How do the above changes affects Earth’s Climate? Nobody really knows.

    • Anonymous says:

      yeah its all just a big conspiracy amongst thousands of the worlds top scientists……..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
      go back to youtube my friend and be happy….

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  9. Captain positive there has been hitting the bottle. Just know that good old solar flares can cause the earth to warm and that is pretty much over the course of a day and if we get the right angle and the right class of flare……. we gone. So so much for the climate change and global warming racket.

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    • DaWhaYaGet says:

      There is another thing that could cause the planet climate to change and that is orbital shift. Changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun and changes in the tilt and wobble of the Earth’s axis can lead to cooling or warming of the Earth’s climate because they change the amount of energy our planet receives from the sun.

      But this no excuse for not keeping your planet clean!

  10. Anonymous says:

    mankinds greed will never stop! only fix is when our lord and savious returns…

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  11. Elvis says:

    The world actually is in a fragile place and has been for years our main issue is no one cares and we drop comments like these on the website. We really cant do anything as an island lets get that straight now. What the world so called leaders can do are put heavy omission restrictions on-the massive companies spewing gasses and filth into the atmosphere. Make these massive plastic companies come up with another material. I could go on but whats the point? Nothing will happen and it will continue.Have a great weekend folks

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    • Anonymous says:

      “we really can’t do anything as an island”

      Ppl like u r a major part of the issue. This island and the ppl on it are entirely capable of preparing for the future locally and contributing to global dialogue in issues facing us all. Your defeatist attitude is just a reflection of your lack of faith and not some absolute truth. Thankfully the younger generation doesn’t think like you.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    January and February 2024 are unusually cool for Florida.

    CNS: The map at the top of this article shows unusual temperatures. As you can see, there are some blue patches, indicating areas that were colder than normal, but these are far far less than the areas that were warmer than normal. What the scientists are looking at are global averages. These are steadily rising. For an explanation, read this.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    This weekend, many will be watching football and ordering baskets of wings from 10 or more chickens, without pausing for a moment to consider how absurd that is. ie. how much water, feed, antibiotics, waste, cruelty, and energy input went into each wing, and the cost to our atmosphere from each factory feedlot or CAFO. Until consumers become ready to be more mindful of their food choices, we are on a collision course for a very different world.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Of course! It’s the fault of us peasants. There’s no way it could be anything to do with governments and/or massive (government funding) organizations.

    • Anonymous says:

      mmmmmmm…. chicken wings. Now you’ve gone and put that taste in my mouth, you cruel, cruel person.

  14. Anonymous says:

    How convenient.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    And we still can’t fix the dump, or get a proper recycling system in place, or ban single use plastics.

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    • Anonymous says:

      There has never been a promise to “fix the dump”. GT landfill will be capped as cheaply as you can imagine, and a new dump/wte furnace established in Bodden Town, where Dart will be paid to run it, burn waste, and sell energy – profiting at every stage, hiring the same outside expertise that DEH HR couldn’t. We will get screwed three ways, just as the regime that inks it gets paid off.

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    • Some guy with odd shoes says:

      Agree with you. In the meantime, what we CAN do, is reuse “single use plastics”. Go ahead and use your happy bag(s) at the grocery store, but what about the plastic that surrounds your bread and other foods?

      We should reuse those plastics. Use them again and again until they are worn out. That is the least that we can do to make this better.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t ban them just wash them and use them more than once.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Can I preempt the idiots saying, “it’s just weather”. If you think that there isn’t a man-made cluster f**k just getting ready to come home to roost, you’re a moron.

    Luckily for me, I’ve no children and will be dead before the worst hits.

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