Warmest years coming: Nasa

eAwaz Lifestyle

Washington – The US space agency Nasa has revealed that Covid-hit 2020 was also the warmest year on record, just barely exceeding the record set in 2016 by less than a tenth of a degree. Massive wildfires scorched Australia, Siberia, and the US west coast — and many of the fires were still burning during the busiest Atlantic hurricane season on record.
Lesley Ott, a research meteorologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in the US said: “This year has been a very striking example of what it’s like to live under some of the most severe effects of climate change that we’ve been predicting.” Meanwhile, Gavin Schmidt, climate scientist and Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City added: “The natural processes Earth has for absorbing carbon dioxide released by human activities – plants and the ocean – just aren’t enough to keep up with how much carbon dioxide we’re putting into the atmosphere. This isn’t the new normal. This is a precursor of more to come.”
Climate modellers have predicted that as the planet warms, Earth will experience more severe heat waves and droughts, larger and more extreme wildfires, and longer and more intense hurricane seasons on average. Nasa in a recent statement said: “The events of 2020 are consistent with what models have predicted: extreme climate events are more likely because of greenhouse gas emissions.” Climate change has led to longer fire seasons, as vegetation dries out earlier and persistent high temperatures allow fires to burn longer.
This year, heat waves and droughts added fuel for the fires, setting the stage for more intense fires in 2020. This year wasn’t a record-breaker for ice loss at sea or on land. This year brought one of the busiest and most intense Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, with 30 named storms. The planet is also seeing more slow-travelling hurricanes that stall, bringing prolonged rainfall to an area, likely as a result of climate change. Nasa added: “The large wildfires, intense hurricanes, and ice loss we saw in 2020 are direct consequences of human-induced climate change. And they’re projected to continue and escalate into the next decade — especially if human-induced greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate.”