Energy & Environment

UN says 2020 expected to be one of three hottest years on record


 A new report from the United Nations is projecting that 2020 will be among the three hottest years on record. 

The provisional report from the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said that data from January to October currently puts 2020 as the second warmest year recorded but that its exact ranking could change during the rest of the year. 

Barring 2020, 2016 and 2019 have been the hottest years recorded thus far. 

During that period, the average global temperature for 2020 was about 1.2 degrees Celsius higher than the the baseline temperature for the years 1850 through 1900.

“2020 has, unfortunately, been yet another extraordinary year for our climate. We saw new extreme temperatures on land, sea and especially in the Arctic,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas in a statement. 

Taalas also said that countries need to do more to combat climate change. 

“We welcome all the recent commitments by governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because we are currently not on track and more efforts are needed,” he said.

The report noted that climate change poses risks to human health, food and water security as well as economies, infrastructure and biodiversity. 

It also said that the years 2015 through 2020 are expected to be the six warmest years on record and that this decade will also be the warmest on record. 

According to the WMO, ocean heat is also at “record levels” and 80 percent of the ocean experienced a heat wave at some point this year. 

The WMO’s final report is expected to be published in March. 

The provisional report’s findings are consistent with recent information provided by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

NOAA said recently that data through September showed that the U.S. was on track to be the second hottest year recorded. 


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