2020 is now the joint record holder along with 2016 for the hottest year which also marked the culmination of the hottest decade in recorded human history. This was confirmed by researchers on Friday even as the world struggles to cope up with and implement strategies to address global climate change.
A continued upward trend in global temperatures because of accumulation of greenhouse gases getting trapped in the atmosphere was noted in the findings of the report which was published by the Copernicus Climate Change Service, which is an intergovernmental agency that supports European climate policy.
“2020 stands out for its exceptional warmth in the Arctic and a record number of tropical storms in the North Atlantic,” Carlo Buontempo, director of Copernicus service, said in a statement.
“It is no surprise that the last decade was the warmest on record, and is yet another reminder of the urgency of ambitious emissions reductions to prevent adverse climate impacts in the future,” he said.
There were evidences throughout the year that 2020 will be a record year for high temperatures. Massive record breaking wildfires in Australia and then in the Western states of the United States because of dry and hot conditions was one such evidence. Levels of Arctic sea ice dropped down to its lowest level on record while monthly temperature records were shattered throughout the year throughout the globe. All these pointed towards a record year of high temperatures for 2020.
The report claimed that in 2020, the average global temperature was 0.6 degree Celsius (1.08 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the average global temperature for the period between 1981 and 2010 and was about 1.25 degrees Celsius (2.25 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the average global temperature in the pre-industrial period between 1850 and 1900.
With the continued increase in carbon emissions, temperature rise varied widely between different parts of the world. The hottest year on record was noted in Europe as summer temperatures reached 1.4 degree Celsius (2.53 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than in the previous year – which was the hottest ever till 2020.l
The largest temperature surges were4 recorded in the Arctic and northern Siberia where the average temperatures were recorded at more than 6 degrees Celsius (10.8 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the average for the year. An exceptionally hot winter and spring was recorded in Western Siberia, exceptionally hot temperatures in summer and autumn were recorded in the Siberian Arctic and much of the Arctic Ocean.
A record amount of carbon emissions in 2020 were also released into the atmosphere because of major wildfires near the Arctic Circle while sea ice levels reached record lows in the Arctic for the months of July and October.
“Until the net global emissions reduce to zero, CO2 will continue to accumulate in the atmosphere and drive further climate change,” Vincent-Henri Peuch, director of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, said in a statement.
In 2016, the global temperature was hit by an El Nino resulting in the abnormally high temperatures.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)