Children play in a fountain during a hot summer day in Santiago, Chile on February 2, 2016

Last month was the hottest January in modern times, US data showed on Wednesday, the latest in a string of heat records fuelling concerns over the pace of climate change.

The across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.87 degrees Fahrenheit (1.04 Celsius) above the 20th century average for January, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

This was the highest January average since records began in 1880, NOAA said in a statement, surpassing the previous record of 2007 by 0.29 degrees Fahrenheit.

January marked the ninth consecutive month to break a monthly global temperature record, NOAA said, after the blistering temperatures of 2015 set a heat record for the year.