United Nations has warned that this year is one of the three hottest years in what they called a “climate catastrophe”.
The past six years, 2015 to 2020, are set to make up all six of the hottest years since modern records began in 1850, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in its provisional 2020 State of the Global Climate report.
Temperature averages across the last five years, and across the last 10-year period, “are also the warmest on record.”
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the main driver of climate change, hit record highs last year and continued climbing in 2020 despite measures to halt the Covid-19 pandemic.
The annual impact of the coronavirus crisis was expected to be a drop of between 4.2 and 7.5 percent in carbon dioxide emissions.
However, CO2 remains in the atmosphere for centuries, meaning the effect of the pandemic is negligible.
The heat in northern Siberia reached 38 C at Verkhoyansk on June 20, provisionally the highest known temperature anywhere north of the Arctic Circle.
This year’s La Nina cool phase of the Pacific Ocean surface temperatures cycle raised the question of how hot 2020 might otherwise have been.
The WMO said that more than 80 percent of the ocean area had experienced at least one marine heatwave so far in 2020.
Meanwhile a record 30 named storms, including 13 hurricanes, formed in the Atlantic Ocean, exhausting the alphabet and forcing a switch to the Greek alphabet for only the second time ever.