2016 was considered to be the hottest year yet in human history. But now, 2020 will also be called the hottest year ever.
Indeed, the Copernicus Climate Change Service, the European Union’s Earth Observation Program, has announced that La-Nina remains an unusually high temperature during 2020, despite a recurring weather event that has a cooling effect on global temperatures. And with the previous record-holder 2016, now 2020 is also recorded as the hottest year.
This announcement confirms the continuation of a worrying trend, the last six consecutive years being the hottest on record. It also highlights the need for countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions, which are mainly responsible for global warming. While experts believe current plans to meet the Paris Agreement are inadequate, regions such as China, Japan and the European Union have recently put forward more ambitious climate targets.
Scientists believe that as the planet heats up, the frequency and intensity of many extreme weather events increase. It had several signs in 2020, with record temperatures in the Arctic, very large wildfires (wildfires) in Australia and the US, and severe flooding due to heavy rain in many Asian countries during the monsoon season (see below).
The mean global temperature is routinely analyzed by many scientific institutions. In addition to Copernicus, NASA, NOAA, Berkeley Art, and Hadley’s observatories monitor global temperatures throughout the year.
Because they use different methods, there are small differences between datasets, and it is possible that other groups may not consider 2020 to be warmer than 2016. Despite these small discrepancies, all analyzes confirm the overall trend, and recent years have consistently been found to be the hottest on record.
Growing ambition of climate 2020 has been a turning point for international climate action. The Kovid-19 epidemic has caused the world’s largest reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions by far. And several major economies have announced their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the year.
China’s President Xi Jinping said in September that the country would see the greatest increase in emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. China is currently the world’s largest emitter, the most populous country and the second largest economy on the planet. Other countries in the region, such as South Korea and Japan, also announced that they would become carbon neutral by 2050.
A few days before the end of the year, the European Union extended its climate targets and aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. And in the US, President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to resume the Paris Agreement and uncheck an ambitious climate plan soon after taking office.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in Glasgow, in November 2021, could set the stage for a low-carbon economy. In the following months, countries will have to submit their updated plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions. And now with renewable energy as the cheapest option in the market, it is expected that countries will step up their ambitions.
Year of extreme events According to a recent report, the cost of extreme weather events worldwide in 2020 is more than $ 150 billion. These events included heatwaves, wildfires, floods, and tropical cyclones – all of which are affected by global warming.
High Temperature Extreme temperatures remained stable throughout the year and many previous summer records were broken. These include:
• The hottest recorded day on record in Siberia, with a temperature of 38 ° C, the highest recorded temperature north of the Arctic Circle. This extreme temperature was evident amid a heatwave that, according to one study, would have been “almost impossible” without climate change.
• The highest temperature ever recorded on Earth (54.4 ° C in Death Valley, California).
• The hottest summer season in the Northern Hemisphere (according to NOAA).
The fire The Wildfire made many headlines throughout the year. The extreme temperatures brought by climate change may have contributed to the severity of some of them. The list of worst fires worldwide includes:
• A fire in the bushes of Australia’s forests. Considered the most expensive wilderness bushes on record, this fire devastated millions of acres and killed billions of animals. An attribution study published in January 2020 concluded that climate change increased the risk of such fires by at least 30%.
• Fire in West Coast America. The fire season was the worst on record in California, burning more than 4 million acres of land. Other areas of America’s west coast, such as Oregon and Washington, were also affected. The fire season occurred amidst an extreme heatwave, which brought very high temperatures to the region.
• Fire in South America. Many South American countries were affected by wildfires in 2020, including Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. There were many fires in the Amazon, and also in the delta of Parana’s river and the forest of Gran Chaco, causing significant damage to biodiversity.
Heavy rain and flood Many countries experienced episodes of excessive rainfall, particularly associated with the Asian monsoon. Scientists predict that the monsoon’s total rainfall will increase as the planet heats up, although some areas may receive less rain than others due to changes in wind patterns. Some affected countries:
• Floods in China affected millions of people, causing thousands of displacements and killing or missing at least 219 people. Damage from the flood is estimated at $ 32 billion.
• Floods in Pakistan killed at least 410 people and cost $ 1.5 billion.
• Death rate from floods was very high in India, killing 2,067 people. The damage is estimated at $ 10 billion.
• Floods in Sudan affected more than a million people, destroyed crops and caused at least 138 deaths.
Tropical Cyclones The tropical cyclone season of 2020 has been very intense in both the Atlantic and the Indian oceans.
• The 2020 hurricane season was by far the most active in the Atlantic, with 30 named storms. For the second time in history, Greek (Greek) names had to be used to name storms.
• In September, five hurricanes were simultaneously active in the Atlantic Basin, which was seen only once before, in 1995, on record.
• Some areas experienced several storms, many of which occurred almost one after the other. In the US, five storms occurred in Louisiana alone, setting a new record for this state. And countries in Central America, such as Honduras and Nicaragua, were affected by hurricanes Etah and Iota over a period of a few weeks.
• In South Asia, Cyclone Amfan affected India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan and caused 128 deaths.
• In the Philippines, Super Typhoon Gony and the Left caused extensive damage and killed at least 97 people. Goni was the strongest tropical cyclone of the year.
In response, Dr. Karsten Haustin, scientist at the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), said, “The fact that 2020 is the hottest year on record with 2016 is another stark reminder that human-induced climate change continues unabated In progress. This is particularly amazing because the year 2020 was not under the influence of El Niño, a mode of natural climate variability in the tropical Pacific that ‘supercharged’ the year 2016 with excess heat. There was no such ‘boost’ in 2020, yet it was almost more than the previous record holder. In fact, only a particularly cold December (compared to November) prevents 2020 from becoming the new stand-alone (lone) hottest year.
He adds, “In the context of the epidemic, scientists have found that liquidity (liquidity) support by governments to maintain businesses (and to support individuals) as economic stimulus (incentives), the Paris Climate Agreement Is much more than the annual energy investment required to stay on the low-carbon route. Once we are faced with an emergency, suddenly impossible (financial) actions are taken on an unprecedented scale. Given that we Even in the event of a climate emergency – which cannot be undone with a vaccine – smart investment options are needed, given what’s at stake.”
Dr. Marshall Shepherd, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Geography, Georgia Athletic Association, said, “I don’t think the issue is whether 2020 is the hottest year on record. We’re in an era of continuous record-breaking years. It is no longer breaking news, but a humanitarian crisis. “