Feb 5, 2024 - Energy & Environment

January was the 9th-straight warmest month on record, early data shows

Map showing temperature anomalies for North America and the Arctic on Feb. 4, showing patterns present since mid-to-late January.

Map showing temperature anomalies for North America and the Arctic on Feb. 4, showing patterns present since mid-to-late January. Image: Climate Reanalyzer

Some early data is in on global temperatures in January 2024, and it likely set a record for the warmest January.

The big picture: The information, gleaned from the Japan Meteorological Agency's JRA-55 data set, shows that January now makes nine straight months that have set record highs.

  • The development is not surprising, given recent trends and the strong El Niño in the tropical Pacific.

Yes, but: Early expectations are that 2024 stands a good chance to beat 2023's annual temperature record. But there are signs that La Niña conditions may follow the strong El Niño toward the middle to end of the year.

  • If that happens, it could exert slight cooling on global average surface temperatures.

Go deeper: Scientists unnerved by record shattering 2023 temperatures

Go deeper