Warmer weather on the way as 2020 set to be 'hottest year since records began'

THIS year is set to be the hottest since records began, according to meteorologists.

Experts are estimating a 50% to 70% chance that 2020 will end up breaking a sweltering record set four years ago.

Lockdowns all over the world have been dubbed as helping to clear the skies and reduce pollution.

However, it's thought that this hasn't done anything to cool the climate.

Heat records actually began to be broken from January this year.

This is why the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have predicted a 75% chance that 2020 will be the hottest year since records began.

The previous record was set in 2016.

This was less unusual though because it occurred around an El Niño year, which is a predicted phase of warm weather.

2020 is not supposed to be an El Niño year, indicating there is likely another reason for the high temperatures.

Karsten Haustein, a climate scientist at the University of Oxford, explained to The Guardian that although new emissions may have dropped recently, greenhouse gas levels remain high.

He said: "The climate crisis continues unabated. The emissions will go down this year, but the concentrations keep on rising.

"We are very unlikely to be able to notice any slowdown in the built-up of atmospheric GHG levels."

The Met Office in the UK has been more cautious in estimating that there is a 50% chance 2020 will be the hottest year on record.

Brits have seen less obvious rises in temperature compared to the rest of the world.

However, April in the UK has been 3.1C above average and some records have been set in Cornwall and places in Wales.

In January, many Arctic nations were left with limited snow as the month became the hottest on record.

In February, an Antartica research base registered its highest temperature yet.

Large parts of the US have been sweltering recently and Australia has also seen record heat levels.

Even if 2020 doesn't turn out to be the hottest year, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration thinks it will be in the top five hottest years documented.

Climate change explained

Here are the basic facts…

  • Scientists have lots of evidence to show that the Earth’s climate is rapidly changing due to human activity
  • Climate change will result in problems like global warming, greater risk of flooding, droughts and regular heatwaves
  • Each of the last three decades have been hotter than the previous one and 17 of the 18 warmest years on record have happened during the 21st century
  • The Earth only needs to increase by a few degrees for it to spell disaster
  • The oceans are already warming, polar ice and glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising and we’re seeing more extreme weather events
  • In 2015, almost all of the world's nations signed a deal called the Paris Agreement which set out ways in which they could tackle climate change and try to keep temperatures below 2C

In other news, researchers have warned that Antarctica is being melted from below.

Forest fires near the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster reportedly pushed radiation levels in the area up 16 times.

And, most of West Antarctica and large areas of East Antarctica were once covered in rainforest, scientists say.

Are you worried about climate change? Let us know in the comments…

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