This September was, on average, 0.05C hotter than the average temperature last September, according to the European Union weather service Copernicus. That may seem like a small difference to a layman, but it also means that September 2020 is the hottest September on record. Ever.
Along with everything else that has gone strange and wrong this year, 2020 is projected to be the warmest year on record for the Northern Hemisphere, even if it cools down for the final three months.
In addition, warming in the Siberian Arctic has continued into what should be its winter, and free-floating sea ice levels in the Arctic sea are the second lowest ever recorded.
The hottest temperature ever reliably recorded happened this year, too, when Death Valley reached 54.5C (130F) on August 16th.
Australia, Russia, and California burned ferociously in one of the worst fire seasons we’ve ever seen (the latter two continue to do so).
Europe saw two 100-year-storms in a single month, with massive flooding in France and Italy. One storm dropped nearly 25 inches of rain in just twenty-four hours.
The Atlantic coast of Central and North America has seen so many hurricanes this year they’ve run out of names.
“We have been saying this for decades,” said Ed Hawkins, a climate researcher from Reading University. “More and more greenhouse gases will lead to more and more warming.”
Hawkins pointed out that these events – the fires and storms and flooding – are happening with just one degree of global warming above the long-term average, while climate science predicts a three degree rise over the next two decades if we continue at only the current rates of controlling atmospheric pollution.
“One degree of heating is dangerous for some people, as we’ve seen,” he said. “Two degrees is more dangerous still, and three degrees even more dangerous. We really don’t want to find out what that’ll be like.”
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