This Decade Has Been the Warmest Decade on Record, Thanks to Climate Change
Climate change is real, and global warming is proof of it. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), this decade—2011 to 2020—is now the warmest decade on record, with the six warmest years all occurring within the last six years.
2016 was the warmest year on record, but according to preliminary data on the first 10 months of 2020, this year could beat even 2016.
The five hottest years globally were, in order, 2016, 2020, 2019, 2015, and 2017.
“Record warm years have usually coincided with a strong El Niño event, as was the case in 2016. We are now experiencing a La Niña, which has a cooling effect on global temperatures, but has not been sufficient to put a brake on this year’s heat. Despite the current La Niña conditions, this year has already shown near record heat comparable to the previous record of 2016,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Taalas.
According to WMO, the actual temperature ranking is less important than the actual long-term trends, and we’re seeing warmer and warmer decades.
“Since the 1980s each decade has been warmer than the previous one. And that trend is expected to continue because of record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, in particular, remains in the atmosphere for many decades, thus committing the planet to future warming,” said WMO.
The heat of 2020 is described as “exceptional” as a La Nina event took place this year, which is meant to impact weather patterns and cause a global cooling effect. Despite this, 2020’s temperatures persevered.
The consolidated temperature figures will be released at the State of the Climate in 2020 in March of next year.