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2020 Was the Hottest Year on Record, According to NASA

Tying with numbers from 2016.

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2020 Was the Hottest Year on Record, According to NASA

Tying with numbers from 2016.

NASA has announced that 2020 marked one of the hottest years on record alongside 2016. Data shows that the high temperatures were mainly caused by the coronavirus pandemic and wildfires in Australia.

The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York shared that the global average temperature increased by 1.02 degrees Celsius in comparison to the baseline mean between 1951 and 1980. “The last seven years have been the warmest seven years on record, typifying the ongoing and dramatic warming trend,” GISS Director Gavin Schmidt explained. “Whether one year is a record or not is not really that important – the important things are long-term trends. With these trends, and as the human impact on the climate increases, we have to expect that records will continue to be broken.”

Australia’s bushfires in the first half of 2020 significantly increased the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface. Meanwhile, business closures and lockdowns due to COVID-19 reduced air pollution, resulting in more sunlight reaching the planet and eventually creating a warming effect. Overall, carbon dioxide emissions have been gradually increasing and the reduced amount of pollution from the pandemic will likely have a minimal effect.

Measuring global temperatures serves as an important indicator in understanding how humans are impacting the planet. With more greenhouse gas emissions, sea levels have risen with more intense heat waves, along with shifting plant and animal habitats.

You can head over to NASA’s website to learn more about how the Earth has been changing in recent years.

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David Mcnew/Getty Images
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