The European climate service Copernicus reported this morning that the average global temperature in January was 13.14 degrees. This made it 1.66 degrees warmer than it was before the industrial era. The previous January record was set in 2020, when the global average was 13.02 degrees.
Averages over several years
The warm January also ensured that the average temperature on Earth over the past 12 months was more than a degree and a half higher than it was before the industrial era: 1.52 degrees.
In the Paris Climate Agreement, world leaders agreed in 2015 that they would prefer to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees.
These are averages over several years: annual numbers can change from year to year. The fact that 2023 was the warmest year on record and that January is the eighth month in a row in which the heat record has been broken does not necessarily mean anything about the multi-year average.
Only one way
At the recent climate summit held in Dubai, it was once again emphasized that the goal is to keep global warming within 1.5 degrees.
It is not surprising that temperatures on Earth continue to rise, because the concentration of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere also continues to show an upward trend.
“Rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are the only way to stop rising temperatures,” said Samantha Burgess, deputy director of Copernicus.
Copernicus had previously announced that 2023 was the hottest year on record. Not only was the temperature probably higher than in all other years since measurements began, but it was also higher than in any other period during the past 100,000 years.
Burgess said at the time that the climate we live in is increasingly far from the conditions under which human civilization developed.
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