Summer was damn hot. It turns out the rest of the world felt the same way, even in places where it was supposed to be snowing.
According to America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average temperate for the whole planet was 1.14C above average. That makes it the hottest January in 141 years of global record-keeping.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has already stressed that warming of 1.5C is the tipping point after which catastrophic weather events will be the norm, so the news comes as confirmation that we really need to lift our game as a species.
If you think this is an anomaly, think again. It’s also the latest milestone in 44 consecutive Januaries and 421 consecutive months of above-average temperatures. Yep, over four hundred consecutive months of unusually hot weather.
On top of that, the 10 hottest Januaries ever recorded have all occurred since 2002.
As you can probably guess, the culprit for this wider trend is human-induced climate change. but a phenomenon known as Arctic oscillation is also partially responsible for this milestone in freak weather, particularly in the northern hemisphere where it’s still supposedly winter. This means cold air stays put over the Arctic instead of spreading cold weather across North America, Europe and Asia.
Scandinavia and Russia have also made news for warm weather when it really should be chilly up there atm. In fact, pretty much every part of the world was sweltering last month.
The news comes as scientist log temperatures of above 20 degrees in Antarctica, also for the first time ever. Ice coverage at both the north and south poles was also among the lowest on record.
If January was anything to go by, brace yourselves. NOAA are also predicting 2020 to be the hottest year ever recorded.
Image: Getty Images / Brett Hemmings