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Set to be one of the hottest years on record with countless natural disasters, 2020 is, unfortunately, shaping up to be a landmark year for climatic breakdown. The record for the hottest year was set in 2016 registering a 0.94C increase over the 20th century average of 13.9c. It was closely followed by 2019 with 0.93c.
But measurements indicate 2020 may be on course to eliminate prior records. In a year wildfires ravaged the Australian landscape and desecrated residential areas and national parks in California, it shouldn’t be too surprising that this is the case. NOAA also noted that Australia’s precipitation fell 43% below average, though the northern territories suffered greatly at a deficit of 88%. In Bangladesh, according to ReliefWeb, 984,819 homes and 150,000 hectares of paddy fields were inundated with floods, causing widespread damage and 90 fatalities. Pakistan suffered enormously at the hands of unnatural flooding caused by monsoons that released 484mm of rain in one day killing 41 people.
In Britain, extreme summer temperatures are becoming the norm, with much of the country experiencing hotter weather than that of it’s more tropical European counterparts.
The UK’s ten hottest years have all occurred since 2002, with the hottest day ever set in 2019 in Cambridge at 38.7 Celsius. This year, Britain experienced temperatures of 34C six days in a row for the first time since records began.
In recent years, flooding has become an ever-present threat in the UK. It is expected we will experience autumn and winter flooding yet again after already receiving torrential rain at the latter half of 2019 and beginning of 2020. It is estimated to have caused £150 million of property damage.
The NOAA’s global climate report in March said “…the year 2020 is almost certain to rank among the five warmest years on record. The global land-only and global ocean-only temperature departures for January–March were also the second highest on record, trailing behind the record set in 2016.”