2020 was Europe’s hottest year on record | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 23, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:56 AM, April 23, 2021

2020 was Europe’s hottest year on record

Europe endured record heat and rainfall last year while temperatures in Arctic Siberia soared off the charts, the European Union's climate monitoring service reported yesterday. 

The continent in 2020 was nearly half a degree Celsius hotter than the next warmest year, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

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That means Europe was more than 2C warmer than in a world unaltered by carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels -- and far above the temperature limits enshrined in the Paris climate accord.

The 2015 treaty enjoins nearly 200 nations to cap global warming at "well below" two degrees compared to mid-19th century levels, and 1.5C if possible.

Globally, average surface temperatures have risen about 1.2C above the pre-industrial benchmark, the report noted.

The six years since 2015 are the warmest on record, as are 20 of the last 21, clear evidence of a feverish planet.

On current trends, heatwaves could make large swathes of the tropics unliveable by mid-century, and sea level rise could displace tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of people, scientists warn.

For the Arctic as a whole, 2020 was the second warmest year on record, with surface temperature 2.2C above the 1981-2010 average, and about 3C higher than pre-industrial levels.  Over northern Siberia, the thermometer climbed more than 6C above the late-20th century benchmark for the year as a whole.  It was by far the warmest year on record in Arctic Siberia.

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