Globe breaks heat record for the 8th month in a row. Golfers allowed to play in Minnesota’s ‘lost winter’

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — For the eighth month in a row, the Earth was record warm in January, according to the European Climate Agency. That was evident in the northern United States, where about a thousand people were golfing in a snow-starved Minneapolis last month during what the state is calling “the lost winter of 2023-2024.”

For the first time, global temperatures exceeded the internationally agreed warming threshold for an entire 12-month period, with February 2023 through January 2024 being 2.74 degrees Fahrenheit (1.52 degrees Celsius) hotter than pre-industrial levels, according to the Copernicus European Space Agency Climate Change Service. That is the highest 12-month global temperature average ever recorded, according to Copernicus.

The world has broken heat records every month since last June.

January 2024 broke 2020’s old record for the warmest first month of the year by 0.22 degrees Fahrenheit (0.12 degrees Celsius) and was 3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.66 degrees Celsius) warmer than the late 19th century, setting the stage for temperatures before fossil fuel combustion. Although January was record warm, above-normal levels were lower than in the previous six months, Copernicus data showed.

Climate scientists blame a combination of man-made warming from the burning of fossil fuels and a natural but temporary El Nino warming of parts of the Pacific Ocean, saying greenhouse gases play a much bigger role than nature. This is the time of year when El Nino warming often reaches its peak, says climate scientist Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M University.

“This is both disturbing and not disturbing. If you stick your finger in an electrical socket and get a shock, that’s obviously bad news, but what did you expect? Dessler said.

Scientists do not mean that the Earth has exceeded the 1.5 degree warming limit for twelve months by reaching the 1.5 degree warming limit, says climate scientist Natalie Mahowald of Cornell University, co-author of a United Nations scientific report about the damage of climate change. above 1.5 degrees. The 1.5 degree limit adopted in the 2015 Paris climate agreement is more about 30-year averages.

“These are much more than numbers, ranks and records – they translate into real impacts on our farms, families and communities from unprecedented heat, changing growing seasons and rising sea levels,” said North Carolina State Climatologist Kathie Dello.

International Falls, a Minnesota city on the Canadian border that proudly bills itself as the “nation’s refrigerator,” recorded its first-ever high of 50 degrees for January on Jan. 31, when the temperature was 53 Fahrenheit (11.7 degrees Celsius) reached. Minneapolis has already set a record for the number of 50-degree days in a winter.

About 70% of Minnesota currently has bare ground, with most of the state receiving less than 25% of normal snowfall so far.

Authorities have rescued dozens of ice fishermen from normally buoyant lakes in northern Minnesota after ice floes broke off and carried them away. The annual Art Shanty Projects festival at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis had to be canceled in January due to open water and unsafe ice.

Montgomery National Golf Club, about 45 miles south of Minneapolis, should be covered in snow this time of year. Instead, it is doing a booming business.

“We visited about a thousand golfers in January. If we had just one golfer, that would have been a record,” said owner Greg McKush. “After today we will have had about a thousand golfers before February, which is unheard of.”

McKush said he reopened two Saturdays ago and thinks he might be able to stay open all winter if temperatures continue to climb at least into the 40s.

It appears the fairways are trying to green up, he said, and a lot of frost has come out of the ground. Most golfers tell him the conditions are “better than expected.”

In Wisconsin, which ranks fourth in the U.S. in maple syrup production, mild winter weather prompted many farms in the state’s northern and central regions to begin tapping their trees in mid-January — up to two months earlier than normal, depending on the area. Theresa Baroun, executive director of the Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producers Association.

“There is a large part of the state that is already tapping and boiling syrup. It’s very unusual. This is one of the most abnormal weather patterns we have seen as maple season starts,” she said Wednesday. “For maple trees to grow, it must be freezing at night and above freezing during the day. And this weather was perfect for the maples to run.”

Baroun, whose family has about 1,200 maple trees at their Maple Sweet Dairy in De Pere, Wisconsin, just south of Green Bay, said the farm started boiling sap this week and that’s the earliest her family can remember since production began in 1964.

The February sturgeon season on Michigan’s Black Lake was canceled for the first time due to a lack of ice for safe fishing.

In Isle Royal National Park, an island in Lake Superior between Michigan, Minnesota and Canada, scientists couldn’t conduct their annual count of wolves and moose because the ice was so weak that ski planes couldn’t land on it to get there.

One of the stranger consequences is the early emergence of ticks. Minnesota’s Metropolitan Mosquito Control District reported the first deer tick of 2024 on Monday creepy photo on social media of a tick in a vial against the background of February 5 on a calendar. District officials said they have not yet found any mosquito larvae, but that is not due to a lack of searching.


Karnowski reported from St. Paul, Minnesota, and Borenstein from Kensington, Maryland. Ed White contributed from Detroit and Rick Callahan from Indianapolis.


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