Last month was the hottest January the planet has experienced since record-keeping began nearly 140 years ago, new data released by NASA on Tuesday confirmed—and not by just a little.
January’s global average surface temperature during was 1.13º Celsius (or 2.3º Fahrenheit) above historical averages, according to the data.
Making the single-month record even more troubling, as Andrew Freedman notes at Mashable, is that January also capped a three-month period of record-shattering warming, making it much harder to claim that the spike in January represents a fluke.
Climate Central took a close look at the new figures:
As Phil Plait explains at Slate, the latest temperature data comes from “land and ocean measurements analyzed by the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, using NOAA temperature measuring stations across the world. These are extremely high quality and reliable datasets of global temperature measurements — despite the fallacious cries of a few.”
According to Sally Elliot writing for The Inquisitr:
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Though expert cautions the data sets are still open to analytical refinement, experts and journalists who cover the global warming trends of recent years say the latest figures portend a frightening year ahead as this year’s El Niño combines with already elevated atmospheric and ocean temperatures caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
And as Plait reports:
Last month, a joint analysis by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), confirmed that 2015 was by far the hottest year recorded since the Industrial Revolution took hold.
“Climate change is the challenge of our generation, and NASA’s vital work on this important issue affects every person on Earth,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a statement at the time.
Those findings, Bolden continued, “not only underscores how critical NASA’s Earth observation program is, it is a key data point that should make policy makers stand up and take notice – now is the time to act on climate.”
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