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A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”

The big picture: 2020 will go down as one of the three warmest years on record.

  • The World Meteorological Organization said this year is set to end about 2.2°F warmer than the last half of the 1800s.
  • That's a half degree away from the limit set by the Paris climate accord, which could be exceeded by 2024, the WMO said today.

Among the dozens of extremes of 2020, from the WMO report:

  • Record 30 Atlantic named tropical storms and hurricanes.
  • Death Valley had the hottest temperature on Earth in the last 80 years.
  • Record wildfires in the western U.S. and record heat in Australia.
  • Record wildfires and a prolonged heat wave in the Arctic.
  • Record low Arctic sea ice was reported for April and August, and the yearly minimum, in September, was the second lowest on record.

Between the lines: It's projected to get worse before it gets better, judging by current fossil fuel production projections, reports Axios' Ben Geman.

Reproduced from The Production Gap Report: 2020 Special Report; Chart: Axios Visuals

The bottom line: Guterres urged American students and citizens to do “everything you can” to get their governments to curb emissions more quickly, because no climate plan works without the U.S. playing a major role.

Go deeper

Jan 20, 2021 - Science

Biden will temporarily halt oil and gas leasing in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

A polar bear at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Steven Kazlowski/Barcroft Medi via Getty Images

President-elect Biden on day one will begin his attempts to close off the prospect of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with an executive order that places a temporary moratorium on all oil and natural gas leasing activities.

Driving the news: ANWR is an ecologically rich part of Alaska, whose oil resources are unknown but could be vast. Republicans and oil companies have tried to drill there for decades.

Trump political team disavows "Patriot Party" groups

Marine One carries President Trump away from the White House on Inauguration Day. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Donald Trump's still-active presidential campaign committee officially disavowed political groups affiliated with the nascent "Patriot Party" on Monday.

Why it matters: Trump briefly floated the possibility of creating a new political party to compete with the GOP — with him at the helm. But others have formed their own "Patriot Party" entities during the past week, and Trump's team wants to make clear it has nothing to do with them.

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