Last month was the warmest January ever recorded, U.S. government forecasters say, with human-led climate change the leading cause.
Global temperatures were 1.13 degrees Celsius higher than the 20th century average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday — the highest in at least 141 years.
Record-high heat was felt in parts of Latin America, Asia, Scandinavia, and over parts of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Parts of Russia were 5 degrees higher and sea ice around Antarctica was nearly 10% below average.
The outlook for all of 2020 also points to a warming planet, with experts predicting the year will rank among the five hottest ever recorded.
Global warming can cause floods and more powerful storms in some parts of the world while others will suffer droughts, eventually leading to what a United National panel says will be food shortages and a widespread refugee crisis.