Last month was the hottest November on record, European researchers said Monday, as the relentless warming of the climate turned out to be too high, even for the possible effects of cooler ocean temperatures in the region. tropical Pacific Ocean.
Scientists from the Copernicus Climate Change Service said global temperatures in November were 0.1 degrees Celsius (about 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit) above previous record holders, in 2016 and 2019. November 2020 was 0.8 degrees Celsius (or 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) plus average from 1981 to 2010.
Warm conditions persisted over large swathes of the planet, with above-average temperatures highest in northern Europe and Siberia, as well as in the Arctic Ocean. Much of the United States was also warmer than average.
The Copernicus service said that so far this year temperatures were at the same level as 2016, which is the hottest year on record. Barring a significant drop in global temperatures in December, 2020 is expected to stay on par with 2016 or even become the hottest on record by a small margin, the service said.
“These records are consistent with the long-term warming trend of the global climate,” department manager Carlo Buontempo said in a statement. “All policy makers who prioritize climate risk mitigation should regard these recordings as alarm bells.”
In September, the world entered La Niña, a phase of the climate model that also brings El Niño and affects the weather across the world. La Niña is marked by cooler-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the eastern and central tropical Pacific Ocean. Last month, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said La Niña had strengthened, meaning surface temperatures had dropped further.
While La Niña can bring warmer conditions to some areas – especially the southern United States – it usually has an overall cooling effect. Last week, releasing a World Meteorological Organization climate report that noted, among other things, that 2020 was on its way to be one of the three hottest years in history, the secretary-general of the organization, Petteri Taalas, said that La Niña’s cooling effect “was not enough to dampen the heat this year.
Marybeth Arcodia, a doctoral student studying climate dynamics at the University of Miami, said there are other elements that affect climate, including the natural oscillations of wind, precipitation, atmospheric pressure and temperatures. oceanic at different time scales. “There are so many different climatic factors at play that could mask this signal from La Niña,” Ms. Arcodia said.
But the most important element, she noted, is human-induced climate change.
“It should be borne in mind that the average global temperature is increasing at an unprecedented rate due to human influences,” she said. “That’s the main factor here.”
“So we will continue to see these record high temperatures even when we have climatic phases, like La Niña, which could bring cooler temperatures.”
Scientists from the Copernicus service said warm conditions in the Arctic last month slowed the freezing of Arctic ice Oce4an. The extent of sea ice cover was the second lowest in November since satellites began observing the area in 1979. A slower frost could result in thinner ice and therefore more melting in late spring and in summer.
The Arctic has been extremely hot for much of the year, part of a long-term trend in which the region is warming much faster than other parts of the world. The heat contributed to large forest fires in Siberia during the summer and led to the second lowest minimum extent of sea ice for a September, the end of the summer melt season.
The Copernicus Climate Change Service is part of the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, which is supported by the European Union. In the United States, NOAA also publishes monthly and annual temperature data, usually after the European agency. Although the analytical techniques differ, the results are often very similar.