New Delhi, February 26 (G’nY News Service): In 136 years of record -keeping since 1880, January 2016 has been declared as the hottest ever by National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). January marked the 9th consecutive month to break a monthly global temperature record, NOAA said, after the blistering temperatures of 2015 set a heat record for the year.
The average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.87 degrees Fahrenheit (1.04 Celsius) above the 20th century average of 53.6°F (12.0°C) for January, NOAA said. That’s 0.29°F (0.16°C) warmer than the previous January record set in 2007.
NOAA also reported that January’s average ocean surface temperature came to 1.55 degrees Fahrenheit above the average for the 20th century which is the highest for January in recorded history and surpassing the previous record set in 2010 by 0.45 degrees Fahrenheit.
The globally averaged land surface temperature was 2.57°F (1.43°C) above the 20th century average. This was also the second highest for January in the 1880–2015 record. The previous warmest January occurred in 2007, at 3.31°F (1.84°C) above average.
Antarctic sea ice during January was 890,000 square miles (44.6 percent) above the 1981–2010 average. This was the largest January Antarctic sea ice extent on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2008 by 220,000 square miles.
According to data from NOAA analysed by the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during January was 170,000 square miles below the 1981-2010. This was the 22nd largest January Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent in the 49-year period of record keeping.
The average Arctic sea ice extent for January was 350,000 square miles (6.3 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This is the third smallest January extent since records began in 1979, according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Centre based on data from NOAA and NASA.
The main cause here is human induced climate change. With January off to record heat, it is likely that 2016 could be yet another record-setting year.
If 2016 sets another global temperature record, that would make it back-to-back-to-back years of record setting hot temperatures that has never happened before.. And regardless of whether 2016 sets a record or not, some scientists think the world has stepped up to a new period of global warming. That doesn’t mean every year will set a record, but “it seems to me quite likely that we have taken the next step up to a new level,” National Centre for Atmospheric Research climate scientist Kevin Trenberth told Climate Central last month.