Last month 4th hottest January on record, NOAA reports

Source: NOAA, 2014

Source: NOAA, 2014

Even as the Eastern United States suffered a wintry blast last month, temperatures on the global scale continued to stay high.

New data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  (NOAA) show that this January was the warmest since 2007 and the fourth hottest since record keeping began in 1880. This January also marks the 347th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th-century average.

While temperatures on North America’s east coast were below seasonal norms, elsewhere around the world temperatures were on the rise, with Alaska, Greenland, and parts of Asia seeing particularly warm weather.

NOAA’s report also highlighted a few “significant climate anomalies and events” for January. Parts of the U.S. had a severe lack of rainfall, the U.K. squelched through its third-wettest January on the books, and the Arctic sea ice continues to pull a disappearing act.

Western Australia doubled its usual precipitation and the extent of the Antarctic sea ice got huge in a season when it historically shrinks. Why’s that last thing worrisome? “We suspect that the increasing presence of icebergs broken off from ice shelves and glaciers within the Antarctic sea ice pack is a major contributor to a temporary but increasing trend in the Antarctic sea ice extent,” explains NOAA.

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