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2020 ranks as the hottest year in modern history

Last year was the hottest year ever recorded on Earth, according to an analysis done by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. The study shows that the year tied with 2016, making this decade the hottest decade in modern history. Scientists say that this information should be alarming. If world nations do not take action to curb greenhouse gas emissions, rising temperatures and other extreme effects of climate change will only become worse.

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Last year, there were many events that signified extreme climate change. A heatwave in California caused a temperature of 54.4°C/129.92°F in Death Valley, becoming the hottest temperature ever recorded. In 2020, scientists found that the Arctic was heating up at a rate up faster than the rest of the world. Temperatures in parts of the Arctic and northern Siberia hit 6°C higher than the average for the past 30 years.

Related: World’s highest temperature, 130°F, recorded in Death Valley

According to the researchers, global temperatures in 2020 were 1.25°C higher than pre-industrial times. The data also shows that the last six years were among the hottest ever recorded. Following the dire report, scientists are now calling on governments to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement to avoid a situation where climate change will be irreversible.

Matthias Petschke, Director for Space in the European Commission, said, “The extraordinary climate events of 2020 and the data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service show us that we have no time to lose.” In other words, actions should be taken as soon as possible to avoid a catastrophic situation.

The Paris Agreement was signed by world leaders vowing to keep the temperature rise from pre-industrial times below 2°C, ideally at or below 1.5°C. This accord means that governments should implement measures to stop emissions as well as to conserve and restore nature. Failure to meet the Paris Agreement terms would result in devastating environmental impacts.

+ Copernicus Climate Change Service

Via NBC News

Image via Brendan O’Donnell

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