World Meteorological Organization: 2020 ends a decade of exceptional heat

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has said that the decade 2011-2020 was the warmest decade on record.  According to the WMO, 2020 remained on track to be one of the three warmest on record, and may even rival 2016 as the warmest on record. The six warmest years have all been since 2015. 

The exceptional heat of 2020 is despite a cooling La Niña event, which is now mature and impacting weather patterns in many parts of the world. According to most models, La Niña is expected to peak in intensity in either December or January and continue through the early part of 2021, according to a new WMO summary. 

“Record warm years have usually coincided with a strong El Niño event, as was the case in 2016. We are now experiencing a La Niña, which has a cooling effect on global temperatures, but has not been sufficient to put a brake on this year’s heat. Despite the current La Niña conditions, this year has already shown near record heat comparable to the previous record of 2016,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Taalas. 

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