The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service has announced that the first month of 2024 was the warmest January ever recorded since records began in 1950. The world is experiencing a streak of exceptional heat, which is being fueled by ongoing climate change, the EU’s C3S said.

This alarming news comes on the heels of 2023, which was marked as the planet’s hottest year in the historical record stretching back to 1850. Experts attribute this unprecedented warmth to the relentless march of human-induced climate change, compounded by the El Niño weather pattern, known for its role in heating the eastern Pacific Ocean’s surface waters.

Global temperatures in January 2024 were the highest on record, with a rise of 1.66C above pre-industrial levels. This not only broke the previous record set in 2020 but also continued a distressing trend: each month since June has been the hottest of its kind when compared to the same months in past years. This increase in temperature is significant, indicating a rapid acceleration in global warming.

According to reports, both land and sea experienced record-breaking heat, with January 2024 being the hottest January on record for the oceans.

Scientists from NASA have further confirmed this alarming trend, stating that not only was last month the hottest January on record, but it also marked the conclusion of a 12-month period of unprecedented warming.

Samantha Burgess, C3S Deputy Director, emphasized the gravity of the situation, noting, “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 (2.7°F) above pre-industrial levels.”

Burgess reminded that swift and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions remain our sole effective strategy to halt the relentless climb of global temperatures.

This record-breaking temperature spike wasn’t confined to one region. It was a global phenomenon, with an average temperature of 13.14 degrees Celsius, 0.12 degrees Celsius higher than the previous warmest January in 2020.

Copernicus also confirmed these findings. They reported that the world reached a 1.7°C warming mark, a figure significantly above the pre-industrial average for the month.

US scientists also issued a warning about the future. According to them, there’s a one-in-three chance that 2024 will be even hotter than the preceding year, with a 99% probability that it will rank among the top five warmest years on record.

As the Earth continues to warm at an unprecedented rate, the need for effective climate action has never been more urgent. The record-breaking temperatures of January 2024 serve as a global wake-up call, highlighting the critical state of our planet and the immediate need to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Image Source: Oman Observer