it’s official. According to data from US government agencies (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), 2020 was one of the hottest years in history, with 2016 being the most all-time record. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration placed the figure behind the 2016 totals).
According to NASA scientists the ranking does not matter, the big picture is not very beautiful for the climate Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York and Washington, DC-based NOAA.
“The last seven years have been the hottest seven years on record, increasing the ongoing and dramatic warming trend,” said the GISS director Gavin Schmidt, in a statement. “Whether or not a year is a record is not really important – the important things are the long-term trends. With these trends, and as human impact on the climate continues to increase, we have to expect records to keep breaking. “
This is a stern message for the nation, given the cost of breaking last year’s record 22 weather and climate disaster. According to NOAA, at least 262 people were killed and more injured by climate-related disasters.
And the combination of hail storms, droughts, heatwaves, tornadoes, tropical cyclones and severe weather events and derachos that devastated the Midwest cost the nation $ 95 billion in Texas.
Both organizations track temperature trends to get some kind of picture of the impact of human activities – especially greenhouse gas emissions – on the planet. The image that comes to mind is that human activity has already contributed to raising the Earth’s average temperature by more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the industrial era took hold at the end of the 19th century.
What is most disturbing to scientists is that this year’s record-setting temperatures occurred without a boost from the climatic weather phenomenon known as El Niño, a large-scale ocean – atmosphere climate interaction that occurs over a periodic period. Is associated with warming.
The previous record warmer year, 2016, received a significant boost from a strong El Nino. The lack of uniform support from El Nino this year is evidence that background climate continues to heat up due to greenhouse gases, ”Schmidt said in a statement.
According to NASA, the term warming trends are most commonly experienced in the Arctic. Schmidt said that temperatures have risen three times in the last 30 years compared to the rest of the world. The loss of Arctic sea ice – whose annual minimum area is decreasing by about 13% per decade – makes the region less reflective, meaning that more sunlight is being absorbed by the oceans, causing temperatures to climb even higher.
These impacts of large-scale climate change can be dangerous to the world, Katherine Hiho, professor at Texas Tech University, Wrote an email to The Washington Post.
“What keeps us climate scientists in the dead of night is wondering what we don’t know about self-reinforcing or vicious cycles in the Earth’s climate system,” Haigh wrote. “The further and faster we push it beyond anything experienced in the history of human civilization on this planet, the greater the risk of serious and dangerous consequences. And this year, we have seen that in spades … It is no longer a question of when the effects of climate change will manifest themselves: they are already here and now. The only question left is how bad it will be.