2020 ties 2016 as among hottest years since 1981

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Temperatures in 2020 were 1.08 degrees hotter than the average from 1981 to 2010, tying for the hottest year on record, according to a new probe released by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.

The past six years were the hottest stretch of temperatures in history and 2.25 degrees above pre-industrial average levels, the report said. Temperatures this year tied 2016 as the hottest ever recorded.

he Arctic and the northern portion of Siberia that lies in the Arctic circle saw the most extreme temperature increases, with increases in some locations jumping by 6 degrees Celsius. The higher temperatures helped spark large wildfires that led to increased CO2 emissions.

“[The year] 2020 stands out for its exceptional warmth in the Arctic,” Carlo Buontempo, director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, said. “It is no surprise that the last decade was the warmest on record, and is yet another reminder of the urgency of ambitious emissions reductions to prevent adverse climate impacts.”

The level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere also eclipsed a new high as well, even though there was a small drop in emissions due to coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.

“The human-caused buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere is accelerating,” Richard Betts at Britain’s Meteorological Office said. “It took over 200 years for levels to increase by 25 percent, but now just over 30 years later we are approaching a 50-percent increase. Global emissions will need to be brought down to net zero within about the next 30 years if global warming is to be limited to 1.5 C.” CURRENTPH

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