Global warming continued to evolve in 2020 despite the closure of industries and the reduction in air travel

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The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) He pointed out that 2020 will be one of the three warmest years in history. The reduction industrial activity Y. the Decrease in air traffic, A sector with high greenhouse gas emissions stopped the progress of the global warming during the pandemic. Even the presence of the La Niña phenomenon, which tends to cool the oceans and temperatures in general.

Global warming continued to evolve in 2020 despite the closure of industries and the reduction in air travel
Global warming continued to evolve in 2020 despite the closure of industries and the reduction in air travel

Its preliminary report on the state of the climate in 2020, presented this Wednesday, calculates the average temperature will be up to 1.2 ° C higher at pre-industrial level (1850-1900). It’s a similar number to 2019, only surpassing it until 2016, the warmest year on record.

“Unfortunately, 2020 was another unusual year for our climate, with new extreme temperatures on the land surface, at sea and especially in the Arctic.”said Petteri Taalas, WMO General Secretary at a press conference.

“Despite the paralysis of many activities caused by COVID The atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases continued to riseand condemns the planet to further warming for many more generations due to the long persistence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, ”the report explains.

The document states that the past six years since 2015 have been the hottest since scientific measurements began in 1850. The 2011-2020 decade is the warmest in history.

The final results for 2020 will be available in March next year. Then it will be confirmed whether this was the second or third hottest year in modern history as it is currently practically linked to 2019.

Up to 38 ° C at the North Pole

The Siberian Arctic in northern Asia was the region where global warming was most manifested. The average temperatures there were above the average registered between 1981 and 2010. For example, on June 20 in the Russian city of Verkhoyansk, one of the coldest places in the world, The highest temperature in history was measured at the Arctic Circle: 38 ° C. The situation contributed to Siberia suffering the worst forest fires in 18 years.

While the Antarctic ice remained stable, the Arctic ice reached the second lowest level in 42 years. Only in Greenland An icy mass of 152 billion tons was lostThe WMO warned.

Such global warming It exacerbated extreme weather events such as floods, forest fires and droughts. According to WMO did this 10 million people in “climate refugees”who had to leave their homes, mainly in South Asia and the Horn of Africa.

“Forest fires destroyed large areas in Australia, Siberia, the west coast of the United States and South America (…), and a record number of hurricanes were recorded in the Atlantic,” Taalas recalled.

The sea continues to rise

Since the beginning of 1993 The sea level rises by more than three millimeters every yearsays the WMO. While there are no final numbers for 2020, the increase is estimated to be similar to 2019, despite a slight decrease in recent months due to the La Niña.

The WMO report highlights that more than 50 million people suffered a dual impact this year: climate disasters and the pandemic. For example in many Central American countries that suffer from hurricanes every year.

Citing the International Monetary Fund, the panel concludes that the global recession caused by COVID-19 will make it difficult to take action to contain the climate crisis. However, it is also an opportunity to put the economy on a greener path.

See also: Climate Change Could Be More Deadly Than Coronavirus: Bill Gates

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