Every month University of Alabama in Huntsville climatologists John Christy and Roy Spencer publish the latest global temperature trend data obtained from NOAA satellites. January 2015, Christy reports, was the warmest January in the 36-year satellite record for the northern portion of the globe.
Global Temperature Report: January 2015
Northern non-tropics see warmest January
Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.14 C per decade
January temperatures (preliminary)
Global composite temp.: +0.35 C (about 0.63 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for January.
Northern Hemisphere: +0.55 C (about 0.99 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for January.
Southern Hemisphere: +0.15 C (about 0.27 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for January.
Tropics: +0.13 C (about 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for January.
Notes on data released Feb. 3, 2015:
The northern portion of the globe saw its warmest January in the 36-year satellite record last month, according to Dr. John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. "A large band of warmer than normal air stretched from China, and across the northern Pacific into western Canada and the western third of the U.S., which brought warm temperatures to the western U.S. and dry air to California. This was somewhat offset by the large area of much cooler than normal air that stretched from the eastern U.S. through Hudson Bay into the Arctic."
Top 5 Warmest Januaries
(20° to 85° N. Latitude)
2015 + 0.80 C
2010 + 0.70 C
2007 + 0.67 C
2014 + 0.62 C
2009 + 0.58 C
Compared to seasonal norms, the warmest average temperature anomaly on Earth was off the west coast of the U.S. near Eugene, Oregon. The January temperature there was 4.03 C (about 7.25 degrees F) warmer than seasonal norms.
The northern extratropics (the non-tropical northern region) extends from 20 degrees to 85 degrees north latitude, or from about the latitude of Mexico City and the island of Hawai'i to a latitude a couple of degrees north of an island off the northern tip of Greenland — the northernmost tip of land on Earth.
At the same time, the anticipated El Niño Pacific Ocean warming event seems to be beginning to fizzle, with the warm temperature anomaly in the tropics falling 0.17 C — from +0.30 C in December to +0.13 C in January.
Compared to seasonal norms, the coolest average temperature on Earth in January was over southern Baffin Island, by Canada's Auyuittuq National Park. The average January 2015 temperature there was +3.59 C (about 6.46 degrees F) cooler than normal.
Go here for monthly global lower tropospheric satellite temperature trend data since 1979.