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Last year equaled 2016 as the hottest year on record

(Bloomberg) – The decade ending in 2020 was the hottest in history, with temperatures higher than in any other period in at least two millennia and possibly much longer. The main culprit for extreme warming, atmospheric carbon dioxide, has reached a level that has not been observed in at least 3 million years. The past seven years are now the warmest since measurements began in the 19th century. In five major sets of temperature data updated on Thursday, 2020 ended in a statistical tie with 2016 as the hottest year on record, reaching about 1.2 ° C higher than the 19th century. Four of the five research centers showed that 2020 was slightly cooler than 2016, but within the window of uncertainty. The year 2019 is very close behind. “That is the world average,” said Ahira Sánchez-Lugo, a physical scientist at the US National Office for Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), one of the scientific groups reporting new annual temperature data. “There are some regions that are warming much faster.” One degree may seem like a small amount, he added, but “a small change in average global temperature can lead to big changes when it comes to extreme weather. We are already seeing it. ”Heat waves, wildfires, more intense storms and changes in rain and snow patterns point to a world already in greater danger. With each passing year, scientists are more confident in attributing many of these climate anomalies to heat trapped in the atmosphere and oceans. Record temperatures in 2016 were temporarily influenced by El Niño, the natural phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean that raises thermometers. That was not the case in 2020, which not only lacked the erratic warming trend, but also featured La Niña, which began in August. Ocean temperatures also hit a new high in 2020, according to another study. released this week.Temperature data has confirmed many of the projections made by climate researchers. Work continues in the climate science community, and upcoming reports from the United Nations-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are expected this year and next. gives 2021 a 99.6% chance of being one of the 10 hottest years. But another record is unlikely to be broken. With La Niña, this year it has only a 7.4% chance of exceeding the temperatures of 2020 and 2016. Original Note: Last Year Tied 2016 as the Hottest Year in Recorded HistoryFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source. © 2021 Bloomberg LP