Saturday, January 23, 2021

2020 Ties Earth's Heat Record

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Climate Change, Earth Systems, Earth Science, Sustainability

Ed Hessler

2020, Dateline Earth.

Not only was the past year another hot one but tied the record for heat (2016). 

The Guardian reports with graphs, maps and relevant quotes.

Environmental editor Damian Carrington writes, "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 Nino 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 Arctic and Siberia were particularly subject to extreme temperatures--"with a large region 3C (~37F) higher than the long-term average and some locations more than 6C (~49F) higher."

Carrington quotes Professor Dave Reav  (University of Edinburgh). "“Covid lockdowns around the world may have caused a slight dip in emissions, but the CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere is still going up fast. Unless the global economic recovery from the nightmares of 2020 is a green one, the future of many millions of people around the world looks black indeed.”

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