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Record January highlights global warming

Switzerland – along with the rest of the world – experienced warmer than normal temperatures in January. But while the worldwide figure was 1.8° Fahrenheit above average, the Swiss one was 1.8° Celsius.

According to the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), last month’s “globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces” was an all-time January high since record-keeping began in 1880. The temperature was 1.87°F (1.04°C) above the 20th-century average, reported the NOAA on Thursday.

In Switzerland, January 2016 was on average 1.8°C warmer than the norms recorded from 1981-2010. North of the Alps and in canton Valais, temperatures were as much as 2.0-2.7°C above normal last month.

Unlike the global record-breaking figure, January 2016 in Switzerland was just the 12th warmest since 1864, according to the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology, MeteoSwiss. However, December 2015 was Switzerland’s warmest ever, with temperatures 2°C higher than all other recorded Decembers.

Switzerland is one of more than 190 countries that agreed to a landmark climate treaty in Paris at the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in 2015. The agreement, which replaced the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, comes into effect in 2020.

The accord calls for keeping “global average temperature to well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels” and pursuing efforts to limit that to 1.5°C. 



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