Paris, Jan 8 (efe-epa).- The year 2020 was the warmest recorded in Europe’s history, closing the hottest decade ever, while globally last year tied with 2016 as the hottest on record, the European Earth Observation Copernicus Programme announced on Friday.
The Copernicus annual report found that the decade 2010-2020 was the warmest in recorded history, closing 2020 with a rise of 0.4 degrees Celsius higher than in 2019.
The report also revealed that carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere continued to rise over the past year at a rate of approximately 2.3 particles per million (ppm), reaching a peak of 431 ppm during May.
The year 2020 was 0.6 degrees Celsius warmer than the average temperature between 1981 and 2010 and about 1.25 degrees above the pre-industrial period between 1850-1900.
According to these observations, the largest annual temperature increase between 1981-2010 was concentrated in the Arctic Ocean and northern Siberia, reaching more than 6 degrees Celsius above average.
The forest fire season in the Arctic circle has been unusually active, with blazes first detected in May which continued throughout the summer and well into autumn.
The Copernicus report added that as a result of those fires, a record 244 million tonnes of carbon dioxide was released in 2020, over a third more than the 2019 record.
During the second half of the year, the quantity of Arctic ice was significantly below average, with July and October seeing the smallest recorded portion of sea ice.
In general, the northern hemisphere experienced above-average temperatures during 2020, while some parts of the southern hemisphere recorded below-average temperatures, particularly in the Pacific, associated with the cooler conditions of the La Niña phenomenon.
Warmer El Niño episodes occurred in 2015 and 2016, resulting in a higher rate of atmospheric growth due to a lower than normal absorption of carbon dioxide from forest fires. This contributed to the decade’s temperature increase.