The trend of rising temperatures has continued in 2024, with January being the hottest January on record, according to the EU Copernicus Climate Change Service. This marks the eighth month in a row that is the warmest on record for the respective time of year.
According to Copernicus Climate Change Service, the average monthly surface air temperature was 1.66°C warmer than an estimate of the January average for 1850-1900, which is known as the pre-industrial reference period. This does not mean that we have exceeded the lower-level target of 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial era referred to in Paris Agreement on Climate Change. However, this data shows a clear increase in global warming over many years and not just monthly or annual exceedance.
The Paris Agreement refers to long-term warming over many years rather than monthly or annual exceedance. According to Copernicus Climate Change Service, sea surface temperatures continue to be at record highs and have been since 31 January, surpassing previous highest values from August 2023 (20.98°C).
WMO uses ERA5 dataset and five other internationally recognized datasets for its climate monitoring and state of the climate reports. The final WMO State of the Global Climate 2023 report will be published for World Meteorological Day on March 23rd this year. WMO has already confirmed that 2023 was by far the warmest year on record due to human-induced climate change and a warming El Niño event that began weakening in equatorial Pacific but marine air temperatures remained unusually high level overall.