January 2020 was the hottest January on record, says NOAA

 REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

January 2020 was the hottest January in the 141-year global climate record, according to scientists at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The January global land and ocean surface temperature was 1.14 degrees Celsius above the 20th-century average, surpassing the record set in January 2016. Also, the temperature departure from average was the highest monthly departure ever recorded without an El Nino present in the tropical Pacific Ocean, announced the NOAA in a statement on Thursday.

El Nino is an irregularly occurring event in the equatorial Pacific region. El Nino is characterized by the appearance of unusually warm water off northern Peru and Ecuador. The NOAA says having the hottest January on record without an El Nino impact provides more solid evidence to the existence of global warming.

January 2020 marked the 44th consecutive January and the 421st consecutive month with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th-century average. The 10 warmest Januaries documented in the climate record have all occurred since 2002.

The year 2020 is very likely to rank among the five warmest years on record, according to U.S. National Centers for Environmental Information scientists.