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2020 sets yet another global temperature record

The Earth’s high fever reached or approached record highs in 2020, the World Meteorological Group reported Thursday.

NASA and several other measurement groups said 2020 was past or essentially tied to 2016 as the hottest year on record, but more agencies, including the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said last year. Said it was close to the second or third. The difference in rankings mainly revealed how scientists explained the data gap in the Arctic Circle. The Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the world.

“It’s like the movie’Groundhog Day’. Another year, the same story-record warmth of the earth,” said Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University. He was not part of the measurement team. “As we continue to produce carbon pollution, we expect the planet to warm up, and that’s exactly what we see.”

Scientists said all you had to do was look out. We saw a fire. We saw the (melting) Arctic Circle, “said NASA’s top climate scientist Gavin Schmitt. “We expect it to get hotter, and that’s exactly what happened.”

According to NOAA, the average temperature in 2020 will be 58.77 degrees Celsius (14.88 degrees Celsius), a few hundredths behind 2016. NASA considered 2020 warmer than 2016, but it’s essentially closely related. The Copernicus Group in Europe also called it an essential tie for the hottest years, with a small percentage of warmth in 2016. The Japan Meteorological Agency says 2020 is warmer than 2016, but another calculation by Japanese scientists shows that 2020 was one-third after 2016 and 2019. The World Meteorological Agency, the British Meteorological Agency, and the Berkeley Earth surveillance team are ahead of 2016.

Schmidt, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said that rankings in 1st or 2nd place aren’t really important. “But the important thing is that the long-term trend of temperature is rising very clearly,” he said. Track the temperature. “We are in a position to push the climate system beyond the limits that have existed for tens of thousands of years, if not millions of years.”

All observers agree that the warmest six years on record are the six years from 2015. All of the warmest decades have occurred since 2005, and scientists say warming is caused by the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.

Russ Vose, director of analysis at the National Center for Environmental Studies at NOAA, said temperatures over the last six to seven years “imply an accelerating rise in global temperatures.” Temperatures have clearly accelerated since the 1980s, but it’s too early to tell the second and subsequent accelerations, Schmidt said.

In a statement, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last year’s extraordinary heat “more clearly reminds us of the constant pace of climate change that is destroying life and livelihoods across the globe.” It was. “Building peace with nature is a decisive task in the 21st century.”

In its fifth warmest year, the United States broke the record of 22 disasters in 2020, at least $ 1 billion, including hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, and midwestern dereco. .. The past record of 16 was set in 2011 and 2017. This is the sixth consecutive year of more than $ 10 billion in climate disasters and inflation-adjusted figures.

The Earth has warmed 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.2 degrees Fahrenheit) since before the Industrial Revolution, and has added another 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.36 degrees Fahrenheit) in 10 years.

This means that the Earth is approaching the international warming threshold set in Paris in 2015, Vose and Schmidt said. Countries around the world have set goals to prevent global warming at least 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and set more stringent secondary goals to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

Jason Fertado, a professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma who was not on the measurement team, said in an email, “Currently, it is inevitable that the temperature will exceed 1.5 ° C before the Industrial Revolution. It is too late to turn things around. Too much. ” “We are also worried that the 2C threshold will deviate from us unless changes are made more quickly in the United States and other countries.”

According to NOAA data, the Earth has warmed 1.6 degrees (0.9 degrees Celsius) since 1942, when President-elect Joe Biden was born, and 1.2 degrees (0.6 degrees Celsius) since 1994, when pop star Justin Bieber was born. ..

The main reason for the different numbers of institutions is that there are relatively few thermometers in the Arctic Circle. According to NASA, NOAA and the UK Meteorological Agency have taken a conservative approach to estimating missing data, but NASA warmed the Arctic much faster than the rest of the globe last year. It is believed that it reached 100 degrees (38 degrees Celsius) in the Arctic Circle of Russia in the month. Schmidt.

According to Schmidt, the pandemic may have added a small amount to last year’s warming, which is sufficient for NASA calculations to go beyond 2016 and beyond 2020.

Around the world, people were reducing driving — and it reduced short-term aerosol pollution, which acts as a coolant by reflecting heat. According to Schmidt, a small number of cooling aerosols that cause global warming can reach .09 to .18 degrees Celsius (.05 to .1 degrees Celsius).

NOAA’s Vose and Schmidt expect 2021 to be in the top five of the hottest years, but probably not record-breaking due to the natural temporary cooling in a part of the Pacific Ocean called La Nina.

NOAA and NASA measurements date back to 1880, while Met Office measurements date back to 1850.

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Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter. @borenbears

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2020 sets yet another global temperature record

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