Forecasting Change: 2020 ties for hottest year on record

Warmth occurred during a cooling La Nina

FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2019 file photo, an aircraft passes the rising sun during take off at the international airport in Frankfurt, Germany. World leaders breathed an audible sigh of relief that the United States under President Joe Biden is rejoining the global effort to curb climate change, a cause that his predecessor had shunned. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2019 file photo, an aircraft passes the rising sun during take off at the international airport in Frankfurt, Germany. World leaders breathed an audible sigh of relief that the United States under President Joe Biden is rejoining the global effort to curb climate change, a cause that his predecessor had shunned. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – This week in Forecasting Change I want to take a look at the heat that we have just had in the last year and show you how it stacks up to years past.

One look at the chart below shows you that the news is not pretty.

10 hottest global years on record. 2020 in a virtual tie with 2016.

NASA has ranked 2020 as the warmest year on record. NOAA ranks 2020 as the second warmest. If you do a blend of the analysis it puts the temp at 2.25 degrees Fahrenheit over the baseline of the years 1881-1910.

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In plain terms, 2020 earned a tie for the hottest year on record with 2016. Keep in mind this happened in a La Nina year. The La Nina years usually create a dip in the heat in the atmosphere, but in recent years, they have been much warmer than compared to years past.

Departure from average in global temperature

And have you ever seen the Ed Hawkins Stripes? It is a graphic display of the temperature since 1850. It’s a way of looking at the warming the globe has been going through. At the end there you can see 2020 has been added as a deep, red stripe that is in line with the past decade.

Global temperatures from 1850-2020

The top 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2000. It is not political; it is just a fact.


About the Author:

Tom Sorrells is News 6's Emmy award winning chief meteorologist. He pinpoints storms across Central Florida to keep residents safe from dangerous weather conditions.