Earth sets 9th straight monthly heat record

WASHINGTON -- The January figures are in, and Earth's string of hottest-months-on-record has now reached nine in a row. But NASA said January stood out: The temperature was above normal by the highest margin of any month on record.

See Full Article

And January set another record: Arctic sea ice reached its lowest point for that ice-building winter month.

NASA said January 2016 was 1.13 degrees Celsius above normal. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which calculates temperatures differently, said last month was 1.04 degrees Celsius, which is the second biggest margin in history. NOAA said the greatest was this past December.

January's average global temperature was a record 13 degrees Celsius, easily beating the old January record set in 2007, according to NOAA. Records go back to 1880.

There were colder-than-normal patches in parts of the United States, Europe and Asia in January, but they were overwhelmed by incredible "off our chart" warming in the Arctic region, according to NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden. Siberia, northwest Canada, and a lot of Alaska were at least 9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal, she said.

That heat was why there was record low sea ice in the Arctic for this time of year, when sea ice grows, Blunden said.

January Arctic sea ice averaged only 13.46 million square kilometres in January, which is 233,00 square kilometres below the previous record set in 2011, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. It's also 1.04 million square kilometres - about the size of Texas and New Mexico, combined - less than the 30-year normal.

The string of nine consecutive record hot months matches June 1997 to February 1998, which was the last time Earth had a large El Nino. It is still behind the 10 straight months of record heat in 1944, Blunden said. It's likely we'll tie that record in February, she said.

The current El Nino - an occasional natural warming of parts of the Pacific that changes weather around the world and spikes global temperatures - is tied with 1997-1998 for the strongest on record, according to NOAA. And while it has been predicted to ease soon, it has not lessened yet, said NOAA Climate Prediction Center deputy director Mike Halpert.

NASA chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt blamed the record heat mostly on man-made climate change, with an assist from El Nino.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Shark fin ban might not help sharks, scientists say

    Tech & Science CTV News
    PORTLAND, Maine -- As lawmakers propose banning the sale of shark fins in the U.S., a pair of scientists is pushing back, saying the effort might actually harm attempts to conserve the marine predators. Democratic Sen. Source
  • 'I'm sorry to hear that': Why training Siri to be a therapist won't be easy

    Tech & Science CBC News
    We already turn to our smartphones for help with all sorts of tasks, such as checking the weather or getting directions. But could the next role for your hand-held device be as your therapist? Apple plans to make Siri, its digital assistant, better at responding to people's mental-health issues — an ambition that has raised serious ethical concerns among some health experts. Source
  • The problem with Star Trek aliens: Bob McDonald

    Tech & Science CBC News
    As yet another incarnation of the Star Trek franchise takes to the airwaves this week, devoted fans will be thrilled to set off on another continuing mission to seek out new life and new civilizations. But why do so many of those aliens always look humanoid? The reality is, when we do contact civilizations from other worlds, chances are, they will look nothing like us. Source
  • Climate change scientists fight for funding to save High Arctic lab

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Some of Canada's leading climate change scientists are fighting to keep the country's northernmost research station in operation. The Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) in Eureka, Nunavut, tracks atmospheric data that no other research station can, given its High Arctic latitude, only 1,110 kilometres from the North Pole. Source
  • Right whale skeleton, DNA headed to Canada's largest museum

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Scientists at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto are hoping that some good can come from three dead North Atlantic right whales, towed to a beach on P.E.I. this summer. Final report on right whale deaths still weeks away, say AVC pathologistsRight whale necropsy underway on P.E.I. Source
  • Asteroid mining could support space economies, colonies

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A team of researchers are planning to send robotic spacecraft into outer space, land near asteroids hurtling through the abyss and mine them for water, metals and other elements that will make colonizing space that much easier. Source
  • Algae on river flowing into Lake Erie prompts warning

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TOLEDO, Ohio -- Health officials in Ohio are telling children, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions not to swim in the river that flows through Toledo because of an algae outbreak. The Maumee River along the city's downtown waterfront has turned unsightly shades of green the past few days, leading local health officials to issue a recreational advisory Thursday. Source
  • #BugsR4Girls: How 8-year-old Sophia Spencer co-authored a scientific paper on bugs

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Sophia Spencer hated it when classmates taunted her for her love of insects, but seeing them kill her pet grasshoppers for fun was even worse. Her first-grade peers couldn't understand what she found so fascinating about bugs of all sorts or why she'd devoted spare time to catching them, reading about them and generally carrying on like a budding entomologist. Source
  • Tech firms and lawmakers celebrate new trans-Atlantic cable

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Lawmakers and tech industry leaders have announced the completion of a new high-speed data cable that stretches across the Atlantic Ocean. Representatives from Facebook and Microsoft joined with Virginia's governor and two senators in Williamsburg to celebrate the cable's completion on Friday morning. Source
  • Ont. girl who was teased for love of bugs gets name in science journal

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Sophia Spencer hated it when classmates taunted her for her love of insects, but seeing them kill her pet grasshoppers for fun was even worse. Her first-grade peers couldn't understand what she found so fascinating about bugs of all sorts or why she'd devote spare time to catching them, reading about them, and generally carrying on like a budding entomologist. Source