2020 has tied 2016 as the hottest year on record, the European Union’s environment monitoring service stated Friday, keeping Earth on a worldwide warming fast track that might devastate big swathes of mankind.
The 6 years since 2015 are the 6 warmest ever registered, as are 20 of the last 21, evidence of a consistent and deepening trend, the Copernicus Climate Modification Service (C3S) reported.
Last year’s record high– a skyrocketing 1.25 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels– was all the more worrying due to the fact that it came without the help of a routine natural weather condition occasion referred to as an El Nino, which amounted to two-tenths of a degree to the 2016 average, according NASA and Britain’s Met Office.
The 6 years given that 2015 are the six warmest ever registered, as are 20 of the last 21, evidence of a relentless and deepening pattern AFP/ JOSH EDELSON
” It is rather clear that in the absence of El Nino and La Nina influence on year-to-year temperatures, 2020 would be the warmest year on record,” Zeke Hausfather, director of climate and energy at the Advancement Institute in Oakland, California, informed AFP.
During an El Nino, which takes place every two to seven years, warm surface area water in the tropical Pacific Ocean can boost worldwide temperature levels. La Ninas– such as one currently underway– have the opposite cooling result.
” 2020 sticks out for its extraordinary warmth,” stated C3S director Carlo Buontempo.
With just over 1C of warming so far, Earth is already dealing with the destruction caused by more regular and stronger severe weather condition events such as wildfires AFP/ Robyn Beck
” This is yet another pointer of the urgency of ambitious emissions decreases to avoid adverse climate impacts in the future.”
In 2015, the world’s countries pledged to top worldwide warming “well listed below” 2C, and 1.5 C if possible.
A subsequent report from the UN’s climate science advisory panel, the IPCC, left no doubt that 1.5 C was the much safer threshold.
CO2 levels in Earth’s atmosphere rose to a peak of 413 parts per million, almost 50 percent more than in the early 18th century AFP/ Tolga AKMEN
With simply over 1C of warming so far, the world has seen a crescendo of fatal droughts, heatwaves, flood-inducing rains, and superstorms made more damaging by increasing seas.
2020 saw a record number, for instance, of cyclones in the Atlantic– numerous that the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) lacked letters in the alphabet to name them.
International carbon emissions in 2018, 10-year modification and emissions since 1960 for the leading 10 emitters AFP/ Simon MALFATTO
Some areas last year experienced warming well beyond the global average, according the Copernicus report, based largely on satellite data.
Europe’s typical surface area temperature across 2020 was a searing 2.2 C over the pre-industrial standard– and almost half a degree above 2019, the previous record year.
Warming in the Arctic region was much more spectacular, with northern Siberia and parts of the Arctic itself nearly 7C above mid-19th century levels.
Wildfires throughout Siberia lasting well into the autumn launched a record quarter billion tonnes of co2 into the atmosphere, comparable to the annual emissions of Spain, Egypt or Vietnam, and a 3rd more than in 2019, the previous record year.
CO2 levels in Earth’s atmosphere peaked at 413 parts per million, nearly 50 percent more than in the early 18th century, prior to nonrenewable fuel source burning started to fill the skies with heat-trapping greenhouse gases, C3S reported.
These unmatched levels were reached regardless of a 7 percent drop in emissions due to pandemic lockdowns.
” Considering that CO2 builds up in the atmosphere like water in a tub, if we turn down the tap by 7 percent, the CO2 level just increases a bit more gradually,” Stefan Rahmstorf, head of Earth system analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research study, informed AFP.
” We need to turn off the tap to get a stable climate again.”
International emissions were on a steady upward trend through 2019, and it remains uncertain whether mankind will go back to “organization as usual” or begin to ratchet down carbon pollution quickly enough to avoid catastrophic environment impacts.
Even if all countries fullfil promises sent in annex to the 2015 Paris Agreement, the planet would still heat up more than 3C by century’s end.
” The world has been warming at a stable rate of around 0.2 C per decade given that the 1970s due to human emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases,” kept in mind Hausfather.
” If we continue at our current rate we will pass 1.5 C in the mid-2030s.”