Last year, rising temperatures made it the hottest decade on the planet in modern times, federal climate scientists said Thursday.
In a new climate study, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ranked 2020 in extreme heat, with 2016 being the warmest year since official recordkeeping began in 2016. In 1880, an unprecedented warmth occurred despite the cooling downstream of the Pacific La Niña. Global temperatures will drop slightly in December.
In a separate assessment at the same time, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which relies on slightly different temperature records and methods, calculated that the global average temperature last year was the second highest to present at just 0.04 degrees. Fahrenheit recorded in 2016.
“These long-term trends are very clear,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. “This is another piece of evidence that tells us that the world is warming another decade by decade.”
NASA and NOAA scientists have identified 2020 as a year of extreme extremes, driven by rising levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, which traps heat in the atmosphere.