The extended spell of high global temperatures is continuing, with the Arctic witnessing exceptional warmth and – as a result – record low Arctic sea ice volumes for this time of year. Antarctic sea ice extent is also the lowest on record.
Reports from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies said that global average surface temperatures for the month of January were the third highest on record, after January 2016 and January 2007. NOAA said that the average temperature was 0.88°C above the 20th century average of 12°C. The European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts, Copernicus Climate Change Service, said it was the second warmest.
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January 2017 was the third warmest January in 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.
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- Record low January Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extents.
- The January temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.58°F above the 20th century average of 53.6°F. This was the third highest for January in the 1880–2017 record, behind 2016 (highest) and 2007 (second highest).
- The January globally averaged land surface temperature was 2.77°F above the 20th century average of 37.0°F. This value was also the third highest January land global temperature in the 1880–2017 record, behind 2007 (highest) and 2016 (second highest).
- The January globally averaged sea surface temperature was 1.17°F above the 20th century monthly average of 60.5°F—the second highest global ocean temperature for January in the 1880–2017 record behind 2016.
- According to data from NOAA analyzed by the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during January was 890,000 square miles above the 1981–2010 average. This was the sixth largest January Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent in the 51-year period of record. The North American snow cover extent was the 13th largest on record, while the Eurasian snow cover extent was the seventh largest.
- The average Arctic sea ice extent for January was 487,000 square miles (8.6 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This was the smallest January extent since records began in 1979 and 100,000 square miles smaller than the previous record set in 2016, according to an analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center based on data from NOAA and NASA.
- The Antarctic sea ice extent for January was 432,000 square miles (22.8 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This was the smallest January Antarctic sea ice extent since records began in 1979 and 110,000 square miles smaller than the previous record set in 2006.
From NOAA Visualizations Channel