By Andrea Thompson
The warmth that led 2014 to become the hottest year on record has continued into 2015, with last month ranking as the second-hottest January on record globally, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday.
“I think it is safe to say that the warmth so far in 2015 really is a continuation of the warmth in 2014,” NOAA climatologist Jake Crouch said in an email.
The past month was 1.39°F above the 20th century average of 53.6°F, second only to 2007 in the agency’s records, which go back to 1880. The Japan Meteorological Agency had January 2015 tied with both January 2002 and 2007, while NASA data put the month in a tie for third with 2002, behind 2007 as the hottest and 2005 and 2013 as the second hottest.
Different agencies handle global temperature data in slightly different ways, leading to small differences in monthly and yearly global temperature rankings.