True to the trend, Mother Earth began 2021 with a mild January that took 7th place as the warmest in the temperature record, according to scientists from NOAA’s national environmental information centers.
The heat has taken its toll on sea ice as well, and below-average ice cover has been observed at both ends of the planet.
Here’s more from NOAA’s latest monthly global climate report:
Climate by numbers: January 2021
January’s global land and ocean surface temperatures were 1.44 degrees F (0.80 degrees C) above the 20th century average, making it the seventh warmest January in a 142-year climate record.
Last month was January 45th in a row and 433rd month in a row with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th century average.
Even more significant findings
- Almost record heat for some continents. Africa and North America had the warmest and second warmest January, respectively, since regional records began in 1910. Meanwhile, much of North Asia was at least 3.6 degrees F (2.0 degrees C) below average, in stark contrast to most In 2020, when the region was significantly above average.
- The coverage of the polar sea ice was quite small. Arctic sea ice volume during January was 6.5% below the 1981–2010 average, making it the sixth lowest January range in the 43-year record. The coverage of sea ice in Antarctica was 6.6% below the average and is related to January 2007 as the 13th lowest. January 2021 marked the sixth consecutive January with below-average Antarctic sea ice.
- The snow cover was almost normal. The amount of snow in the northern hemisphere for January 2021 was close to normal for this time of year. For North America the snow cover was slightly above average, while Eurasia had slightly below average.
Extremely warm October fuels are marching towards the second warmest year
For more information, see www.ncei.noaa.gov/news/global-climate-202101
Provides NOAA headquarters
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