According to international data compiled by the World Meteorological Organization, global temperatures were among the highest on record in 2020.
The heat came despite the global economic slowdown from the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic cut into emissions from fossil fuels and thus added evidence of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. This should be regarded as a warning for the planet.
The WMO report involved data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the UK Met Office. Both the organizations ranked 2020 as the second warmest year after 2016. A cooling trend: La Niña has thereby failed to tame and lower the global temperatures. The report included the data provided by NASA. Their data also declared 2020 tied with 2016 as the warmest year on record.
António Guterres, U.N. Secretary-General stated, “(This news is) yet another stark reminder of the relentless pace of climate change, which is destroying lives and livelihoods across our planet. Making peace with nature is the defining task of the 21st century.”
The transformations in average global temperatures among the three warmest years, 2016, 2019, and 2020, were indistinguishably small. The average global temperature in 2020 was about 14.9 C (59 F), or about 1.2 C that is above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial level. According to the 2015 Paris Agreement, there should be efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
WMO when surveyed all five datasets showed that 2011-2020 was the warmest decade on record. Whereas, NOAA said the seven warmest years ever since record-keeping began in 1880 have occurred since 2014. According to a WMO analysis which was led by UK Met Office declared: There is at least a one-in-five chance that the average global temperature will temporarily exceed that limit by 2024.
The U.S. decreased greenhouse gas emissions
United States—the second-leading source of pollution after China has successfully decreased its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 10% as compared to last year. It is noticed that this declination might be the largest drop in the post-World War II era, as the coronavirus crippled the economy. The depression should not be seen as a promise the United States can easily meet under the Paris agreement to cut emissions by 28% by 2025.
The WMO, a U.N. agency, relied on data from observing sites and ships and buoys from NOAA and NASA and the United Kingdom’s Met Office Hadley Centre, and the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and its Copernicus Climate Change Service and the Japan Meteorological Agency also contributed to the datasets.