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BerlincTypeface:> Global temperatures in January were higher than at any time since records began, EU scientists said on Thursday, after Earth logged its warmest year ever in 2023.

This is the eighth month in a row that was the warmest on record for the respective month of the year, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said.

The average surface air temperature was 13.14 degrees Celsius in January, which was 0.7 degrees higher than the average for the reference period from 1991 to 2020. The previous warmest January had occurred in 2020.

The principle climate information used by Copernicus goes back to 1950, although some earlier data is also available. When making a comparison even farther back in time, the exceptional rise becomes even more apparent: The average January temperature in 2024 was 1.66 degrees higher than the estimated average for the month between 1850 and 1900.

According to Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service: “2024 starts with another record-breaking month - not only is it the warmest January on record but we have also just experienced a 12-month period of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial reference period.

“Rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are the only way to stop global temperatures increasing.” Regional differences were evident across the globe, however.

The picture in Europe was mixed last month. While it was significantly cooler in the Nordic countries than the average for the reference period, it was significantly warmer in the south of the continent. It was also warmer than average in eastern Canada, north-west Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, while western Canada, the central United States and most of Siberia were colder than average.

The weather phenomenon El Niño has begun to weaken in the equatorial Pacific, but air temperatures over the ocean remain at unusually high levels, the Copernicus statement added. (DPA)

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