The EU Copernicus Climate Change Service says January 2024 was the warmest January in the ERA5 data record, going back to 1940. The global surface air temperature 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. Taking into account the average of the last twelve months, the global mean temperature was the highest on record at 0.64°C above the 1991-2020 average and 1.52°C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average.

Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said: “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 [with a mean global average temperature] 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.”

The average global sea surface temperature (SST) for January outside the polar regions reached 20.97°C, the highest recorded for January and the second highest monthly temperature in the ERA5 dataset for any month, only 0.01°C below the highest, reached in August 2023.

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