January 2017 was just a little cooler than last year and its temperature matched that for the same month in 2007, making it the third warmest January in 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to NASA scientists.
Last month’s temperature was 0.20 degrees Celsius cooler than the warmest January in 2016. However, it was 0.92 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean January temperature from 1951-1980, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.
The results showed that two of the three top January temperature anomalies have been during the past two years.
January 2016 was the hottest on record, at 1.12 degrees Celsius warmer than the January mean temperature, followed by 2007 at 0.96 degrees Celsius warmer. January 2017 placed third.
The monthly analysis by the GISS team is assembled from publicly available data acquired by about 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, ship- and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research stations.
The modern global temperature record begins around 1880 because previous observations did not cover enough of the planet.