January 2013 Was Ninth Warmest on Record Globally

By Tom Yulsman | February 21, 2013 10:36 am

Here’s how temperatures on land and at sea different from the 1981-2010 base period. (Image: National Climatic Data Center)

The global average temperature for January, 2013 was 0.54°C, or 0.97°F, above the 20th century average, according to an update just issued by the National Climatic Data Center.

That makes January the ninth warmest since record-keeping began in 1880.

Some notable findings:

  • The Southern Hemisphere experienced record warmth over land for the second month in a row
  • In Australia, the nationally-averaged monthly maximum temperature in January was the highest ever recorded.
  • The southern portion of Greenland was considerably warmer than normal.

The warmth in Greenland explains the unusual melting of snow along the southeastern coastal area of Greenland. I wrote about that on Monday in this piece. The melting continues, as today’s Greenland Ice Sheet Today graphic from the National Snow and Ice Data Center shows.



ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.


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