January 2020 was the warmest January on record, according to both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the European Copernicus Climate Change Service system. Global average temperatures for the month came in at 1.14°C (2.05°F) above the 20th-century average, and beat the previous record (January 2016) by 0.02°C (0.04°F). Despite this record
The Beaufort Gyre is a wind-driven circular current in the western half of the Arctic Ocean, that alternates between a clockwise and counter-clockwise motion: when it circulates clockwise, it traps ice and melted freshwater, and when it spins counter-clockwise, it releases that freshwater and ice into the North Atlantic Ocean, southward past the east coast of Greenland. This trap-and-release cycle typically reverses every five to seven years, usually when a cyclonic storm in the North Atlantic moves into the Arctic, reversing the Gyre’s direction.