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Last month was the world’s hottest January on record

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The first month of 2024 was the world’s hottest January on record, the European Union’s climate agency has announced.

The first month of 2024 was the world’s hottest January on record, the European Union’s climate agency has announced.

It’s the eighth consecutive record-breaking month of heat. It was also the first time the 12-month global average temperature exceeded the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C warming threshold.

Here’s what you need to know.

Hottest January on record

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) found January 2024 temperatures were 0.12°C above the previous warmest January, in 2020.

Parts of Canada, north-western Africa, the Middle East and central Asia recorded significantly above average temperatures.

C3S said marine temperatures remained “unusually high” despite the current hot and dry El Niño weather pattern weakening in the Pacific.

The Paris Agreement

In 2015, the Paris Agreement was signed by nearly 200 UN member states. It’s a legally binding international treaty on climate change.

Leaders agreed to cut emissions to limit global average temperature increases to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

However, the global average temperature for the 12 months to January 2024 reached a record-high 1.52°C above pre-industrial levels.

According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, crossing the 1.5°C threshold risks “unleashing far more severe climate change impacts, including more frequent and severe droughts, heatwaves and rainfall.”

C3S Deputy Director Samantha Burgess said: “Rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are the only way to stop global temperatures increasing.”

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