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2020 Was Hottest Year on Earth, Bringing Record Fires, Heat Waves and Extreme Weather

HeadlineJan 15, 2021

In climate news, 2020 edged out 2016 as the hottest year ever recorded, with global surface temperatures averaging 2.25 degrees Fahrenheit above historical averages, or 1.2 degrees Celsius. The last seven years have been the warmest years ever observed. The worsening climate crisis brought record heat waves and fires, searing droughts and the busiest Atlantic hurricane season on record. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels surpassed 410 parts per million in 2020 — also a record — continuing an inexorable rise. The dire climate report comes even as the coronavirus pandemic slowed the worldwide pace of emissions in 2020, with U.S. greenhouse gas emissions dropping by 10%.

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