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Global Warming Advanced in 2020 Despite the Closure of Industries and the Reduction in Air Traffic

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) pointed out that 2020 will be one of the three warmest years in history. The reduction of industrial activityandthedecrease in air traffic,a sector with high greenhouse gas emissions, halted the advance of global warming during the pandemic. Not even the presence of the La Niña phenomenon helped, which usually cools the oceans and temperatures in general.

In its preliminary report on the state of the climate in 2020 , presented this Wednesday, it is estimated that the average temperature will be up to 1.2 ° C higher than pre-industrial levels (1850-1900). It's a similar figure to 2019, surpassed only by 2016, the warmest year on record.

"Unfortunately, 2020 has been another anomalous year for our climate, in which new extreme temperatures have been produced on the land surface, in the sea and especially in the Arctic ," Petteri Taalas, WMO Secretary General said at a press conference.

"Despite the paralysis of many activities caused by COVID, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases continued to rise , condemning the planet to further warming for many more generations due to the long permanence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere", explains the report.

The document indicates that the last six years since 2015 have been the warmest since scientific measurements began to be recorded in 1850. Therefore, the decade of 2011-2020 is the warmest on record.

In March of next year the final results for 2020 will be available. Then it will be confirmed whether this was the second or third hottest year in modern history, since for now it is practically tied with 2019.

Up to 38 ° C at the North Pole

The Siberian Arctic, north of Asia, was the region where global warming was most strongly manifested. There, average temperatures exceeded the average recorded between 1981 and 2010. For example, on June 20 in the Russian town of Verkhoyansk, one of the coldest places in the world, the highest temperature in the world was recorded. history in the Arctic Circle: 38 ° C. The situation contributed to Siberia suffering the worst forest fires in 18 years.

While the Antarctic ice remained stable, the Arctic ice reached their second lowest value in 42 years. In Greenland alone , an icy mass of 152 billion tons was lost , the WMO warned.

Such global warming intensified extreme weather events such as floods, forest fires, and droughts. According to the WMO, this turned 10 million people into “climate refugees” , who had to leave their homes, mainly in South Asia and the Horn of Africa.

"Forest fires destroyed large areas in Australia, Siberia, the west coast of the United States and South America (...), and a record number of hurricanes were recorded in the Atlantic," Taalas recalled in this regard.

The sea keeps rising

Since the beginning of 1993, the sea level has risen more than three millimeters annually , indicates the WMO. Although there are no definitive figures for 2020, it is estimated that the rise will be similar to that of 2019, despite a slight decrease in recent months due to the La Niña.

The WMO report highlights that more than 50 million people have suffered a double impact this year: climate disasters and the pandemic. For example, in many Central American countries, which each year suffer from hurricanes.

Citing the International Monetary Fund, the body concludes that the global recession caused by COVID-19 will make it difficult to enact the policies necessary to mitigate the climate crisis. However, it is also an opportunity to take the economy on a path more in line with the environment.

See also: Climate change could be deadlier than coronavirus: Bill Gates

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