We are on the cooling side of the powerful el Nino, ebbing out in the equatorial Pacific Ocean almost a year and a half ago. At that time many new heat records were added and the weather behaved differently than usual. The global temperature had never been higher since the observations began in the 1800s.
Now we have the cold pendant – a la Nina, which is not particularly strong, but it contributes to a lowering of the global temperature. Therefore, it is remarkable that, despite this cooling, we can have a January temperature, which is globally the 4th warmest.
If we look at the temperatures of years with La Nina, this January is the warmest, which supports the general consensus that global temperature is rising.
The figures mentioned here come from the EU Center for Observations of the Earth. The center is called Copernicus and is one of the four centers that calculates the global temperature each month. Copernicus is usually the first with the numbers, but rarely there are the big variations in the centers’ calculations.
This January is estimated to be 0.4 degrees warmer than the average for the period 1981-2010. This is a considerable increase, and it is in line with the expectation that the temperature will rise by 0.18 degrees per decade. With such growth, it seems almost impossible to keep the temperature at 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial level, as we are currently 1.1 to 1.2 degrees above.
These figures should intensify negotiations to improve the Paris agreement – something that is indeed possible at the next COP meeting in Katowice in Poland in December.