The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began recording the global climate in 1880 and of the 141 global averages that have followed, August 2020 came in second since records began for over land and ocean surface temperatures. In a recent report, NOAA announced that this August was the Northern hemisphere’s hottest since they began monitoring global temperatures, adding yet another string to the forsaken bow that is 2020.
The devastating victory saw the combined land and ocean surface temperatures smash the current record, as they increased by an average of 1.19°C (2.14°F) compared to the previous record set in 2016, which saw an increase of 0.03°C (0.05°F). Environmental scientists at NOAA fear the current numbers put 2020 on track to be one of the five warmest years on record.
In light of the news, United Nations officials are urging that many countries need to do more if as a planet we’re to turn the tide on the ongoing climate crisis.
As wildfires continue to rage through parts of America in a year bookended by catastrophic blazes, the news, while distressing, is perhaps unsurprising to many. This week alone has seen the announcement the world failed to meet every single biodiversity goal set by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010 to be achieved by 2020, global wildlife populations have fallen by nearly 70 percent in 50 years, and the news NOAA just appointed a climate denier to one of the top jobs in the organization.
Evidence of global warming has been seen throughout even the coolest parts of the Northern hemisphere, as the Arctic moves into a new climate state and predictions state the region could be without ice in summer as early as 2035.
Unfortunately, in a year rife with tragedy, the Covid-19 pandemic prevented the United Nations from hosting climate meetings earlier this year. The first was to take place in Bonn, Germany, as part of the buildup to COP26. At time of writing, the UN climate summit is still scheduled to go ahead in Glasgow, Scotland, in November. If it goes ahead it will be the largest and most significant round of climate change negotiations since the 2015 Paris Agreement (COP21), and as the recent NOAA report tells us, it would seem there is much to discuss.