2020 was officially one of the hottest years on record, and a sign of relentless warming of the Earth, according to a few analyzes published by scientists around the world over the past week.
The heat record comes after a year punctuated by climate disasters: historical heat waves, hurricanes and forest fires.
“This is a clear indication that the global signal from human-induced climate change is now as strong as the force of nature,” Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, said in a statement.
Analyzes differ on whether 2020 will be the hottest year on record. A NASA report published on Thursday found that 2020 was narrowly ahead of 2016 as the warmest year on record. Effectively link record. Another analysis, Posted on Thursday By the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the conclusion of 2020 was second only to 2016. And last week, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service identified 2020 Draw 2016 As the warmest year.
The conclusions differ slightly because the research groups apply different techniques to compile a global temperature picture based on temperature observations from thousands of weather stations.
The 2020 heat record is the latest in a series of years that have been exposed to more heat.
“The past seven years have been the hottest seven on record,” said NASA researcher Leslie Ott. So, no matter where the odd years fall, “the consistency of recent years that were the warmest years on is very clear,” she said.
For all of these analyzes, “the difference between 2020 and 2016 is smaller than the uncertainty in the record,” Zeke Housfather, a climate scientist at the independent research group Berkeley Earth, told BuzzFeed News by email. “So it’s an effective tie for the warmest.”
The year 2020 is marked by intense heat most of the year, but the phenomenon of natural cooling, La Niña, subsided at the end of the year.
“The extraordinary heat of 2020 is despite La Niña, which has a temporary cooling effect,” said Talas.
Climate change drove other big heat records in 2020.
Siberia experienced a months-long heatwave and Verkhoyansk in the Arctic recorded its hottest day on record, reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit on June 20. “This event would have been virtually impossible without human-induced climate change,” said a team of scientists is over.
2020 was the warmest year on record in Europe, up 1.6 ° C above the average temperature from 1981 to 2010, according to the Copernicus analysis. 2019 was a record-breaking year earlier, with the observed temperatures being 0.4 ° C higher than the same period.
Last year also saw The busiest hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean, As well as historically A series of devastating wildfires in the western United States. The result was the experience of the United States Most disasters are in the billions of dollars 2020. The year also started together The worst wildfires in Australian history. Moreover, carbon dioxide levels continued to rise in the atmosphere, reaching a new maximum of 413 parts per million last May.
Meanwhile, the epidemic caused an economic shock that caused US emissions will drop 10.3% In 2020, according to a preliminary analysis by the research organization Rhodium Group, which is part of a Greater trend of lower emissions worldwide last year. But a short reduction in emissions will not be sufficient to stem the global warming trend – which will require long-term emissions cuts.
“The vast majority of the warming we’re seeing is due to human emissions of greenhouse gases,” Ott said.