Last month was the warmest January on record globally, new data has revealed.
It was also the ninth consecutive month to break its annual temperature record, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
During January, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.04°C above the 20th century average. This was the highest for January in the 1880–2016 record, surpassing the previous record of 2007 by 0.16°C.
Australia recorded above-average temperatures across parts of northern and southern Australia and Tasmania had its second-highest January temperature ever recorded.
Professor Will Steffen said the record-breaking month was another reminder of the urgency of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning away from fossil fuels.
“Records continue to tumble. Last year was the hottest on record globally, marking the fourth time this century that we’ve set a new record high annual temperature,” he said.
“However, in the two months since the Paris agreement was signed, the Australian Government has approved a new coal mine and a coal mine expansion next to the Great Barrier Reef. Emissions are continuing to grow and the CSIRO’s climate science division has been gutted.
“All the while, the climate which underpins our lives and our environment continues to destabilise and Australians are continuing to suffer from worsening extreme weather events.
“We cannot afford to dwell any longer in paralysis or inaction. The work must begin in transitioning Australia away from fossil fuels and reaping the benefits of the new economic power- renewable energy.
“Given world leaders agreed at Paris to do everything possible to stay below 1.5 degrees of warming, there is absolutely no time to lose.”
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