A Lack Of Snow And A Bit Of Warmth: January 2020 Was The Warmest On Record

Photo by Amee Zally is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Having travelled during January to one of the coldest countries on Earth I was amazed to have not experienced the crunching sensation of compacted snow beneath my heavy-duty boots. Instead, I was greeted by temperatures of 3c to 10c. Friends of mine in the eastern city of Kharkiv told how they didn’t expect climate change to enter “…my own city”. Kharkiv is usually plundered by snow at this time of the year. So much so, that I once walked onto a field and found myself knee-deep in it. But this year, that risk was absent.

The reason? Earth just experienced it’s hottest January on record. According to Noaa (National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration) it was the hottest January since records began in 1880. Noaa released a report assessing global climate in January 2020.

The report highlights anomalies around the world including a +5c increase in Russia. Europe experienced its second warmest January on record, the warmest being January 2007.

January 2016 and 2020 were the only Januaries with a global land and ocean surface temperature departure from average above 1.8°F (1.0°C). The four warmest Januaries have occurred since 2016; while the 10 warmest Januaries have all occurred since 2002. 

January’s report also explains that the southern hemisphere, saw land and ocean temperature increase by 0.78c (1.40F) and was the highest in the 141-year record at 1.14c (2.05f). This year, Australia experienced extreme bushfires causing billions of pounds worth of damage.