According to the European Union’s Earth observation program, known as Copernicus, September marked an all-time worldwide temperature high. Compared to September 2019, which set the previous record high, it was 32.09° Fahrenheit (0.05° Celcius) hotter this year. According to scientists, this is the result of emissions from human activity.
What Caused the Temperature Record
The elevated heat level and the unusual temperature highs globally are, to a large extent, the aftermath of record wildfires in Australia and California. 2020 definitely hasn’t been good in terms of controlling wildfires that typically occur on a much smaller and containable scale. This also resulted in recording the hottest day in Death Valley at searing 130° Fahrenheit (54.4° Celcius). The massive scale of the wildfires also contributed to the torrential downpours that hit the south and west of France, Northern Italy, and even parts of the UK.
Higher Temperatures Led to a Hyperactive Atlantic Hurricane Season
Storm Alex, as the downpour has come to be known, caused a series of floods and landslides that swept away roads and people’s homes. People have gone missing, and the rains haven’t stopped pouring. Winds reached 112 mph on the west Atlantic coast, cutting power and leaving people off-grid. So far, this has been the most active Atlantic hurricane season in the last 15 years.
In addition to that, the Arctic sea plunged into its second-lowest recorded levels as a result of the record temperature at the end of June. Scientists project that the Arctic sea ice could start melting completely in the summertime by the year 2050.
Since Copernicus has been making satellite observations since 1979, we have decades worth of data to predict where temperature trends are heading in the future. The last two years mark record increases, and if that trend continues, we may begin to see more weather anomalies in the years to come.