Final yr tied with 2016 because the world’s warmest on file, rounding off the most popular decade globally because the impacts of local weather change intensified, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service mentioned on Friday.

After an exceptionally heat autumn and winter in Europe, the continent skilled its hottest yr on file in 2020, whereas the Arctic suffered excessive warmth and atmospheric concentrations of planet-warming carbon dioxide continued to rise.

Scientists mentioned the newest information underscored the necessity for nations and firms to slash greenhouse fuel emissions shortly sufficient to convey inside attain the objectives of the 2015 Paris Settlement to keep away from catastrophic local weather change.

“The extraordinary local weather occasions of 2020 and the information from the Copernicus Local weather Change Service present us that we’ve got no time to lose,” mentioned Matthias Petschke, director for area within the European Fee, the EU’s government arm. The bloc’s area packages embody the Copernicus earth commentary satellites.

WATCH | Siberia warmth wave probably attributable to local weather change, research suggests:

Siberia is scorching in file warmth with temperatures effectively above 30 C. A brand new analysis research suggests this historic warmth wave was made 600 instances extra probably due to man-made local weather change.  3:40

In 2020, temperatures globally had been a median of 1.25 C (2.7 F) greater than in pre-industrial instances, Copernicus mentioned.

The Paris accord goals to cap the rise in temperatures to “effectively under” 2 C and as shut as attainable to 1.5 C to keep away from essentially the most devastating impacts of local weather change.

Though COVID-19 lockdowns meant international emissions of CO2 dipped in 2020 in contrast with current years, the focus of the fuel collected within the environment continued to rise.

“The important thing right here is to — for yearly and as shortly as attainable — scale back the quantity we emit, thus lowering the quantity we truly add into the environment,” mentioned Copernicus senior scientist Freja Vamborg.

Final yr additionally noticed the highest temperature ever reliably recorded, when in August a California warmth wave pushed the temperature at Loss of life Valley within the Mojave Desert as much as 54.four C (129.92 F).

The Arctic and northern Siberia continued to heat extra shortly than the planet as an entire in 2020, with temperatures in components of those areas averaging greater than 6 C above a 30-year common used as a baseline, Copernicus mentioned.

The area additionally had an “unusually lively” wildfire season, with fires poleward of the Arctic Circle releasing a file 244 million tonnes of CO2 in 2020, over a 3rd greater than in 2019.

WATCH | Drone visuals present wildfire devastation in Oregon:

Visuals from excessive above Eagle Level, Ore., present the flattened properties and burned-out autos that stay after a wildfire. 0:51

Sea ice at file lows

Arctic sea ice continued to deplete, with July and October each setting information for the bottom sea ice extent in that month.

Scientists mentioned the research was according to rising proof that local weather change is contributing to extra intense hurricanes, fires, floods and different disasters.

In the USA, the fee in lives and injury is quick rising, mentioned Adam Smith, a local weather scientist with the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“We’d like one other dictionary to assist us describe how these extremes proceed to play out and unfold yr after yr,” mentioned Smith, who tracks climate-related disasters that trigger greater than a billion {dollars} price of harm.

Smith mentioned the 16 billion-dollar disasters that occurred in the USA within the first 9 months of 2020 matched earlier annual information set in 2011 and 2017.

A preliminary tally discovered 13 of final yr’s disasters led to at the least 188 deaths and prices of $46.6 billion US, Smith mentioned. NOAA is to launch a full survey of damages in 2020 at 1600 GMT (11 a.m. ET) on Friday.

Greenpeace’s Arctic Dawn ship is seen close to floating ice on the Arctic Ocean on Sept. 14, 2020. Arctic sea ice in July and October set information for the bottom sea ice extent in that month. (Natalie Thomas/Reuters)


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