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2020 was joint hottest year!

2020 was joint hottest year! 11 January 2021

Climate crisis: 2020 was joint hottest year ever recorded

 Damian Carrington

Global heating continued unabated despite Covid lockdowns, with record Arctic wildfires and Atlantic tropical storms.

The climate crisis continued unabated in 2020, with the joint highest global temperatures on record, alarming heat and record wildfires in the Arctic, and a record 29 tropical storms in the Atlantic.

Despite a 7% fall in fossil fuel burning due to coronavirus lockdowns, heat–trapping carbon dioxide continued to build up in the atmosphere, also setting a new record. The average surface temperature across the planet in 2020 was 1.25C higher than in the pre–industrial period of 1850–1900, dangerously close to the 1.5C target set by the world’s nations to avoid the worst impacts.

Only 2016 matched the heat in 2020, but that year saw a natural El Niño climate event which boosts temperatures. Without that it is likely 2020 would have been the outright hottest year. Scientists have warned that without urgent action the future for many millions of people “looks black”.

The temperature data released by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) showed that the past six years have been the hottest six on record. They also showed that Europe saw its hottest year on record, 1.6C above the long–term average, with a searing heatwave hitting western Europe in late July and early August.

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