January 2020 becomes earth’s hottest January on record due to unprecedented warming in Europe
06 February 2020 | Adaptation
The European agency Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) has estimated that average temperature during January 2020 was 0.77°C warmer than normal (compared to the average temperatures between 1981-2010). Earlier, 2016 held the record for the warmest January of all time, with January 2017 coming a close second. Last month’s temperatures were only marginally (0.03°C) higher than those of January 2016.
The C3S data also show that the temperatures were 3.1°C warmer than 30-year-average for Europe this January. The report said that average temperature was particularly high over the parts of northeastern Europe. In addition, the region stretching from Norway to Russia experienced unprecedented rise in the average temperature by more than 6°C in January, thereby breaking the record of the last 30 years.
The report highlights that many other parts of the world also experienced above-average temperatures. This includes the USA, eastern Canada, Japan, eastern China, Southeast Asia, New South Wales in Australia and some places in Antarctica.
Temperature records suggest that the top 7 warmest years on record are all from the last decade (2010-2019) and the world's five warmest years have all occurred since 2015. The last decade was the warmest decade on record. In fact, every decade since the 1960s has been warmer than the one before. And the start of this decade has seen the trend continue.
Relentless emission of excessive greenhouse gases is blamed for the continued rise in the global temperature. The year 2018 recorded the global average atmospheric carbon dioxide at 407.4 parts per million, which is said to be the highest in the past 8,00,000 years.
To minimise the impact of climate change on humans as well as ecosystems, the United Nations calls on nations to restrict the average temperature rise to under 1.5°C for which the world must achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.