2020 was the hottest year on record according to NASA.
As if the pandemic wasn’t enough to make its mark on the year … the climate crisis involving soaring temperatures, enormous hurricanes, and unprecedented wildfires left its stamp as well.
The previous record was set in 2016 and was beaten by a tenth of a degree in 2020.
The measurements point to the long-term temperature increase of the planet due to the damaging effects of deforestation, fossil fuel burning, and other human activities.
The 10 hottest years on record have all occurred in the last 15 years … and the global temperatures of the last 44 consecutive years have been higher than the 20th-century average.
Some experts are saying average temperatures will continue to creep up due to the number of greenhouse gases that are being released into the atmosphere.
The climate crisis is altering environmental processes around the world. The annual average sea ice extent in the Arctic from last year tied 2016 for the smallest on record. Also, oceans have become exceptionally warm, affecting marine animal behavior. The northern hemisphere had the fourth-lowest average annual snow cover on record.
The rising heat is causing glaciers to melt, sea levels to rise, and fueling more destructive storms. In 2020, the U.S. was hit with a record number of major disasters, costing tens of billions of dollars and several hundred lives.
The heat also fueled incredibly destructive wildfires in California, Oregon, and Australia.
At Karmagawa and SaveTheReef, we think it’s important to stay aware of these things because the way we treat the planet and its animals have consequences. We need to do better so that we can protect our homes and all the living things around us.
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(Cover image: ParabolStudio/Shutterstock)