NASA announced Thursday that 2020 tied 2016 as the hottest year in recorded history ― the latest in a constant stream of reminders about the global climate crisis.
The annual analysis found that Earth’s global average temperature last year was 1.84 degrees Fahrenheit (1.02 degrees Celsius) warmer than the baseline average between 1951 and 1980. That slightly tops 2016, but NASA researchers said the margin is so small that the two years effectively tie each another.
A separate study published Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ranks 2020 as the second hottest year on record behind 2016, with global temperatures over land and sea 1.76 degrees Fahrenheit (0.98 degree Celsius) above average.
“The last seven years have been the warmest seven years on record, typifying the ongoing and dramatic warming trend,” Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in a statement. “Whether one year is a record or not is not really that important ― the important things are long-term trends. With these trends, and as the human impact on the climate increases, we have to expect that records will continue to be broken.”
In its calculation, the NOAA noted that 2020 is the 44th consecutive year that the global temperature has topped the 20th-century average.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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