The 6th hottest January ever recorded on Earth » Yale Climate Connections

January 2022 was Earth’s sixth warmest January since global records began in 1880, 0.89 degrees Celsius (1.60°F) above the 20th century average, a NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, NCEI reported Feb. 14. NASA has listed January 2022 as the fifth hottest January on record, 1.20 degrees Celsius (2.16°F) above the 1880-1920 period, which is its best estimate of when the pre-industrial temperatures occurred. January 2022 was the sixth hottest January on record according to the Japan Meteorological Agency and the European Copernicus Climate Change Service. Minor differences in agency rankings may result from the different ways they treat data-poor regions such as the Arctic.

Notably, last month was the hottest January on record during a La Niña event. Global air temperature tends to cool slightly during La Niña and warm slightly during El Niño, in addition to longer-term warming caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

Land areas experienced their sixth warmest January on record in 2022, with global ocean temperatures the fifth warmest on record, according to NOAA. South America had its second hottest January on record; Asia, its fourth warmest; Oceania, its seventh warmest; and Europe, its 15th warmest. The contiguous United States experienced near-average temperatures in January; the only state with a top 10 hottest or coldest January was California, which had its ninth hottest January since records began in 1895.

The January temperatures of the lower atmosphere measured by satellite were the 17and hottest or 13and hottest in the 44-year record, according to the University of Alabama, Huntsville and Remote Sensing Solutions, respectively.

As of this writing, insurance broker Aon has yet to release its disaster report for January; a summary of the highlights of the report will be added when it is published.

Figure 1. Temperature departure from the average for January 2022, the sixth warmest January in the world since records began in 1880. Record-breaking January temperatures were observed over a large area of ​​central of South America and in small areas across the Atlantic, Indian Oceans, Western Pacific and Asia. No region experienced record cold. (Image credit: NOAA/NCEI)

La Niña weakens but persists

La Niña conditions weakened in January, but are expected to persist through the Northern Hemisphere spring (77% chance in March-May), then shift to neutral conditions (56% chance in May-July ), reported NOAA in its February monthly discussion of the state of El Niño/Southern Oscillation, or ENSO.

Over the past month, sea surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific reference region Niño 3.4 (5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W) were about 0. 7 degrees Celsius on average. The range of “weak” La Niña conditions is 0.5 to 1.0 degrees Celsius below average; the range for “moderate” La Niña conditions is 1.0 to 1.5 degrees Celsius below average.

Figure 2. Sea surface temperature departure from mean in the Niño 3.4 reference region of the eastern tropical Pacific (5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W). Temperatures varied from 0.5-0.9 degrees Celsius below average since mid-January. (Image credit: Tropical Tidbits)

Forecasts from NOAA and Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society for the peak part of the Atlantic hurricane season (August-September-October) indicate a probability of 35 % of La Niña, 48% chance of neutral ENSO and 17% chance of El Niño. Atlantic hurricane seasons during El Niño events tend to be calm, due to increased vertical wind shear over the Atlantic. With current forecasts predicting only a low probability of El Niño, a seventh consecutive season of active Atlantic hurricanes will likely occur in 2022.

The impact of the current La Niña event could be amplified by an extremely negative Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The PDO is an index of sea surface temperatures in the northeast and tropical Pacific Ocean that reflects some of the circulation aspects of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. AOP can swing wildly from month to month, but generally it swings positive (hot) or negative (cold) for a few years at a time. Almost every month since 2017 has seen a negative PDO, and January’s value was the second lowest of any January since 1854. When the PDO is negative, La Niña impacts are often more pronounced.

Arctic sea ice: 16th lowest January extent on record

The extent of the Arctic sea ice in January 2022 was the 16and the lowest in the 44-year satellite record and the largest January extent since 2009, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). While this is good news, the extent of sea ice shows great natural variability and it is unlikely that the long-term decline of Arctic sea ice has stopped. In addition, winter ice extent is a poor indicator of summer and fall ice extent.

Antarctic sea ice extent in January was the second lowest on record, behind only the record extent of 2017.

Notable global heat and cold marks for January 2022

The information below is courtesy of Maximiliano Herrera. Follow him on Twitter: @extremetime:

– Hottest temperature in the northern hemisphere: 41.7°C (107.1°F) in Gallinas, Mexico, on January 1;
– Coldest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere: -62.4°C (-80.3°F) in Summit, Greenland, on January 31;
– Hottest temperature in the southern hemisphere: 50.7°C (123.2°F) at Onslow AP, Australia, on January 13;
– Coldest temperature in the southern hemisphere: -48.5°C (-55.3°F) in Concordia, Antarctica, on January 30;
– Highest average temperature of 2022 to date (January) in the southern hemisphere: 34.3°C (93.7°F) in Marble Bar, Australia; and
– Highest average temperature of 2022 to date (January) in the northern hemisphere: 30.0°C (86.0°F) in Navrongo, Ghana, and Wajir, Kenya.

Major weather stations in January: 36 all-time hot records, one all-time cold recordD

Of the world stations with a record of at least 40 years, 36 set, not just tied, an all-time hot record in January, and one station set an all-time cold record:

Sombrero Hovy (Paraguay) max. 45.6°C, January 1: New national record for Paraguay;
Belgrano II base (Antarctica) max. 11.4°C, January 7;
AP Onslow (Australia) max. 50.7°C, January 13: Tied national record for Australia;
Roebourne (Australia) max. 50.5°C, January 13;
Karratha (Australia) max. 48.4°C, January 13;
Bage (Brazil) max. 41.7°C, January 13;
Santiago (Brazil) max. 39.9°C, January 13;
Rio Colorado (Argentina) max. 43.4°C, January 13;
Salto (Uruguay) max. 42.5°C, January 13;
Florida (Uruguay) max. 44.0°C, January 14: Tied national record for Uruguay;
Carrasco (Uruguay) max. 41.0°C, January 14;
Durazno (Uruguay) max. 42.4°C, January 14;
Colony (Uruguay) max. 40.1°C, January 14;
Tacuarembo (Uruguay) max. 41.4°C, January 14;
Punta Indio (Argentina) max. 43.1°C, January 14;
La Plata (Argentina) max. 41.0°C, January 14;
Mar de Plata (Argentina) max. 42.4°C, January 14;
Tandil (Argentina) max. 40.7°C, January 14;
Benito Juarez (Argentina) max. 41.7°C, January 14;
Villa Gesell (Argentina) max. 42.3°C, January 14;
Moron (Argentina) max. 42.6°C, January 14;
Rio Pardo (Brazil) max. 40.8°C, January 16;
Santa Rosa (Brazil) max. 42.0°C, January 18;
Tulear (Madagascar) max. 42.3°C, January 23;
San Pedro (Paraguay) max. 42.0°C, January 23;
Villarica (Paraguay) max. 42.0°C, January 24;
Coronel Oviedo (Paraguay) max. 41.5°C, January 24;
San Estanislao (Paraguay) max. 42.4°C, January 24;
Quyquyhat (Paraguay) max. 42.0°C, January 24;
San Juan Bautista (Paraguay) max. 42.5°C, January 24;
Posadas (Argentina) max. 42.5°C, January 24;
Iguzu (Argentina) max. 40.6°C, January 24;
Ituzaingo (Argentina) max. 43.0°C, January 24;
Cruz Alta (Brazil) max. 39.2°C, January 24;
Kosanica (Montenegro) min. -33.4°C, January 25: New national record for Montenegro;
Lagos (Nigeria) max. 38.0°C, January 27; and
Gite de Bellecombe (Reunion, France) max. 25.4°C, January 30.

Three all-time national/territorial heat records set or tied in 2022

As of January 31, 2022, three nations or territories have set or equaled a reliably measured national heat record:

Paraguay: 45.6°C (114.1°F) at Sombrero Hovy, January 1;
Australia: 50.7°C (123.2°F) at Onslow AP, Jan. 13 (tie); and
Uruguay: 44.0°C (111.2°F) in Florida, Jan. 14 (tie).

Two all-time national/territorial cold records set or tied in 2022

As of January 31, 2022, two nations or territories have set or equaled an all-time national cold record (Myanmar’s record occurred at a station with a relatively short record period and therefore does not appear in the list of station recordings above):

Montenegro: -33.4°C (-28.1°F) in Kosanica, on January 25; and
Burma: -6.0°C (-21.2°F) in Hakha, on January 29.

Ten national/territorial monthly heat records broken or tied as of January 31

In addition to the three all-time national/territorial records listed above, ten nations or territories set all-time monthly heat records in 2022, for a total of 13 all-time monthly records:

– January (10): Mexico, USA, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Comoros, Mayotte, Maldives, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea

No other all-time monthly cold record has been set so far in 2022.

Hemispheric and continental temperature records in 2022

– Highest temperature ever recorded in January in North America: 41.7°C (107.1°F) in Gallinas, Mexico, on January 1;

– Highest temperature ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere (tie) and world record for highest temperature ever recorded in January: 50.7°C (123.2°F) in Onslow AP, Australia, on January 13 ; and

– Highest minimum temperature ever recorded in South America: 32.2°C (90.0°F) in Pampa del Infierno, Argentina, on January 17.

Bob Henson contributed to this post.

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