GENEVA, Dec 3 — The year 2020 is on track to be one of the three warmest years on record, and 2011 to 2020 the warmest decade on record with the warmest six years all being since 2015, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said on Wednesday.
According to the provisional WMO report on the State of the Global Climate in 2020, ocean heat is at record levels and more than 80 per cent of the global ocean experienced a marine heatwave at some time in 2020.
The global mean temperature for January to October 2020 was around 1.2 degrees Celsius above the 1850-1900 baseline, making 2020 very likely one of the three warmest years on record globally, reported Xinhua news agency.
As with heatwaves on land, extreme heat can affect the near-surface layer of the oceans with a range of consequences, including high impact events such as floods, drought and fires, and tropical cyclones and storms.
About 10 million displacements were recorded during the first half of 2020, largely due to hydro-meteorological hazards and disasters, which were mainly concentrated in South and Southeast Asia and the Horn of Africa.
Even with the Covid-19 lockdown, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases continued to rise, committing the planet to further warming for many generations to come because of the long lifetime of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the report said.
Covid-19 has also added another layer of risk to evacuation, recovery and relief operations related to high-impact events.