THE Met Office has confirmed that the last ten years have been the hottest since records began.
And their data shows that the average temperature for 2020 as a whole was more than 1°C above pre-industrial levels, taken as the average over the period 1850-1900. This makes 2020 nominally the second warmest year on record.
Dr Colin Morice, senior scientist in the Met Office’s climate monitoring team, said: “2020 has proved to be another notable year in the global climate record.
“For the global average temperature in 2020 to be yet another warm year, the second warmest on record even when influenced by a slight La Niña, is a sign of the continued impact of human induced climate change on our global climate.
“With all datasets showing a continued rise in global average temperature, the latest figures take the world one step closer to the limits stipulated by the Paris Agreement.”
Tim Osborn, Director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, said: “For the last 50 years, our global climate has been warming at about 0.2°C each decade. This underlying warming, due primarily to society’s use of coal, oil and gas, is what matters for monitoring climate change and tracking our progress against the goals of the Paris Agreement, more so than the warmth of an individual year.
“Nevertheless, it is notable that we have just experienced, globally, the second warmest year of the warmest decade on record.”
The Met Office said: “The main contributor to warming over the last 170 years is human influence on climate from increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
“The effects of human-induced climate change are not limited to surface temperature. Warming of the climate system is seen across a range of climate indicators that build a holistic picture of climate change far beyond our expectations from natural variability across the land, atmosphere, oceans and ice.”