According to the World Meteorological Organisation, this year is set to be one of the hottest on record globally amid the ongoing climate crisis and extreme weather conditions.
It has been “another extraordinary year” for the climate, with heatwaves, wildfires, hurricanes and floods compounding the threats to people’s lives, health and security created by the pandemic, the UN organisation warned.
The average global temperature in 2020 is set to be around 1.2C (34.2F) above the pre-industrial baseline of 1850-1900, provisional analysis for January to October shows.
This year is currently in second place in all five global datasets in the analysis, behind 2016 and ahead of 2019, though the difference between the years is small and could change once figures for the full year are in.
The hottest year on record, 2016, saw a strong climatic pattern in the Pacific ocean which pushes up global temperatures on top of the impact of climate warming caused by humans.
But WMO secretary-general Professor Petteri Taalas said that while the world is currently experiencing a La Nina moment, which cools global temperatures, that has “not been sufficient to put a brake on this year’s heat”.