The last decade was the hottest on record, with a 1.25°C increase in average temperature over the pre-industrial period. Emissions are also increasing. It is yet another confirmation of the trend of recent years. The latest data released by Copernicus climate change service (C3s) show that globally 2020 was the hottest year ever recorded, on par with 2016. A year that closes the hottest decade (2011-2020), with a real surge in temperatures from 2015 to date. According to the European Centre for Medium-Term Weather Forecasting, Europe saw its warmest year ever recorded, 0.4°C warmer than 2019, which had previously been the warmest year. CO2 emissions are also growing, albeit at a reduced rate compared to the previous year, reaching a high of 413 ppm in May 2020.
2020 stands out for its exceptional warmth in the Arctic and a record number of tropical storms in the North Atlantic. Not surprisingly, the last decade was the warmest on record and is yet another reminder of the urgency of ambitious emission reductions to prevent adverse climate impacts in the future.
It is the northernmost areas of the planet such as the Arctic and northern Siberia that are showing significant increases with deviations from the average of 3°C, to even over 6°C. This should have influenced the fires that have affected the Siberian area, detected by satellites already in early May and that have continued throughout the summer and into late autumn. During the second half of the year, Arctic sea ice was significantly below average for the time of year with July and October seeing the lowest sea ice extent ever recorded for that period.
The extraordinary climate events of 2020 and data show us that we have no time to waste. We must come together as a global community to ensure a just transition to a net zero future.
We can all make a difference: adopt a green lifestyle, use renewables, use public transportation, eat local vegan organic food, reduce, reuse, recycle, ditch the plastic.
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