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January 2020 was the world's hottest January in recorded history

The global land and ocean surface temperature surpassed the record set in 2016.
Credit: NOAA

The world just lived through the hottest January in recorded history in 2020, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

It was the United States' fifth hottest January on record. Globally, it was the 44th consecutive January and 421st consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th century average.

The global land and ocean surface temperature surpassed the record set in 2016. It was 2.05 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the 20th century average, which was 0.04 of a degree Fahrenheit higher than in 2016. NOAA has been keeping records for 141 years. 

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The most notable warmer than average temperatures were seen in Russia, parts of Scandinavia and eastern Canada, according to NOAA. 

In addition to warming temperatures, NOAA said polar sea ice coverage remained smaller than average and snow cover was also lacking. Artic sea ice coverage tied with 2014 for the eighth smallest in January, and Antarctic sea ice coverage tied 2011 for the 10th smallest in January. January 2020 had the 18th smallest January snow cover in NOAA's 54-year record. 

The analysis is the latest in a trend of warmer temps across the world. The four warmest Januaries in NOAA's record have all happened within 2016-2020. According to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forcasts (ECMWF), 2019 was the second warmest year on record.

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