Aug 14, 2020 - Energy & Environment

2020 is on pace to be one of the hottest years on record

Summer Heat Wave Hits Svalbard Archipelago

A glacier in Norway's Svalbard Archipelago. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

2020 is on pace to be among the hottest years on record, and last month was tied with 2016 for the second-warmest July, per NOAA data.

Why it matters: It shows the march of human-induced global warming.

The big picture: "The year-to-date global land and ocean surface temperature was the second highest in the 141-year record at 1.89°F (1.05°C) above the 20th-century average of 56.9°F (13.8°C)," the agency said.

Threat level: "[T]he year 2020 is very likely to rank among the five warmest years on record," their monthly report notes.

  • The five warmest to date have all occurred in the last decade; nine of the 10 warmest have been this century (the other was in 1998).
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