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 U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in its provisional 2020 State of the Global Climate report.
Key findings of the report
- The average global temperature in 2020 is set to be about 1.2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.
- There is at least a one in five chance of it temporarily exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2024.
- 2020 seemed on course to be the second-hottest year ever.
- Oil, gas, and coal production must fall six percent a year to limit catastrophic global warming.
- Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere 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.
- Recently sea level has risen at a higher rate due to the increased melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica.
- Flooding in parts of Africa and south-east Asia led to massive population displacement and undermined food security for millions.
- The heat in northern Siberia reached 38 degrees Celsius at Verkhoyansk on June 20, provisionally the highest known temperature anywhere north of the Arctic Circle.