US space agency NASA has revealed in its latest report that ever since modern record-keeping commenced, January 2017 was the third warmest on record with temperatures 0.92 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean January temperature from 1951-1980.
This makes it two back to back months of January – 2016 and 2017 – when Earth had to endure high temperatures. According to the report by the space agency’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, 2016 witnessed the hottest January till date with 1.12 degrees Celsius warmer than the January mean temperature. January 2017 was the third warmest while the one in 2007 was the second warmest.
Scientists have created a map of the January 2017 land ocean temperature index (LOTI) anomaly. It shows that most of North America and Siberia were much warmer than the 1951-1980 base period. Much of the rest of Asia was also relatively warm. The eastern half of North America and parts of Russia and China were all well above normal for this time of year while Europe and the western U.S. were on the cooler side.
NASA says that their monthly analysis is carried out on data collected through 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, ship- and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research stations.
The modern global temperature record begins around 1880 because previous observations did not cover enough of the planet.
The GISS updates its temperature graphs and tables around the middle of every month. These graphs are upgraded using current data files that have reports for the previous month as well as late reports and corrections for earlier months.
Months setting temperature records is the least of our concerns as the bigger picture is that year over year temperatures on Earth are increasing and it’s being driven by human carbon pollution – action against which need to be taken immediately.