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2020 was tied for the hottest year ever recorded, but the disasters fueled by climate change set it apart

Global average temperatures last year were tied for the hottest on record, capping what was also the planet’s hottest decade ever recorded, according to new data analysis released Friday.

The last 06 years are now the hottest six on record, with 2020 on par with 2016 as the hottest year ever recorded.

The new analysis comes from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, one of several datasets which track global temperatures and climate change impacts.

Last year’s temperatures were 0.6 degrees Celsius (1.08 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the 1981 to 2010 average, and 1.25 degrees Celsius (2.25 degrees Fahrenheit) above the pre-industrial average.

New data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service shows that 2020 tied 2016 as the hottest year on record.Global warming has brought the planet ever closer to the 1.5 degree Celsius warming threshold, which scientists have warned will increase the risk for more extreme wildfires, droughts, floods and food shortages potentially impacting hundreds of millions of people.

However, it was abundantly clear in 2020 that the world is already seeing worsening disasters from climate change. It began in January, when heat and drought stoked unprecedented wildfires across Australia.

When the flames were finally extinguished, the fires had charred an area larger than the state of Florida. An analysis last year found that climate change made the fires at least 30% more likely.

Then came the Atlantic hurricane season, which saw a record-breaking 30 named storms, 12 of which made landfall in the US. Many of those storms carried the fingerprints of climate change, which scientists say is making hurricanes more destructive.Extremely hot and dry conditions also fueled the worst wildfire season ever recorded in the Western US, which engulfed an estimated 10.3 million acres in flames.

And in the Arctic, some of the most extreme temperatures anywhere on Earth were observed in 2020, as the region continues to warm more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet. (CNN)

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