2020’s average temperature was 1.02 degrees Celsius warmer than the baseline 1951- 1980 mean, according to research conducted by NASA.
This makes 2020, joint with 2016, the hottest year on record.
The world’s seven hottest years on record have now all occurred since 2014, with the 10 warmest all taking place in the last 15 years.
There have now been 44 consecutive years where global temperatures have been above the 20th-century average.
NASA has highlighted that these rising temperatures are causing phenomena such as loss of sea ice and ice sheet mass, sea-level rise, longer and more intense heatwaves, and shifts in plant and animal habitats.
Due to slightly different methods used, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) judged 2020 as fractionally cooler than 2016, while the UK Met Office also put 2020 in a close second place.
GISS Director Gavin Schmidt, said: ‘The last seven years have been the warmest seven years on record, typifying the ongoing and dramatic warming trend.
‘Whether one year is a record or not is not really that important – the important things are long-term trends. With these trends, and as the human impact on the climate increases, we have to expect that records will continue to be broken.’
Friends of the Earth’s climate campaigner Rachel Kennerley commented on this: ‘This is yet another clear warning that climate breakdown is here and the impacts – deadly droughts, terrifying wildfires, devastating storms – are hitting us hard and fast.
‘A proportionate response to the threats we face is urgently needed. This means bold and sweeping changes.
‘By investing £27bn in a polluting roads programme and letting new coal mines open the UK government is still not taking the climate emergency seriously.
‘The UN climate talks in Glasgow at the end of the year give the government an opportunity to finally get in gear and start delivering the changes we need to face down this crisis.’
Photo Credit – Pixabay