Australia's Climate Council has confirmed 2020 was the second hottest year on record and the last decade the hottest on record globally as climate change continues to accelerate.
"It's remarkable that despite La Nina conditions, 2020 was the second hottest year on record," Climate Council expert, Professor Will Steffen said.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has confirmed the average temperature for 2020 was +0.98 degrees centigrade above the 20th century average, and only 0.02 degrees shy of the previous record set in 2016.
Professor Steffen said, 'it is telling us that climate change is driving very rapid warming trends and worsening the impact of natural variability events'.
"This sets off yet another alarm bell to the climate change siren.
"Right now, we are on track for catastrophic climate change of three degrees centigrade of heating and maybe more. At just over one degree centigrade of heating, we are already paying a serious price, as we have seen with the recent Black Summer bushfires, prolonged drought and the third mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef in five years.
"Year after year, decade after decade, temperature records continue to tumble because we continue to burn coal, oil and gas," he said.
Issued by the Bureau of Meteorology Wednesday, January 14, 2020
- February-April rainfall is likely to be close to or above average for much of Australia, particularly for Queensland and northwest Western Australia.
- The average maximum temperature for February-April is likely to be close to average across most of Australia, although much of the Australian coastline and parts of the southeast may be above the long-term median. The average minimum temperature for February-April is very likely to be above the long-term median across nearly all of Australia.
- La Nina is underway in the tropical Pacific. The event has likely reached its peak strength, but this does not necessarily mean its influence on rainfall has peaked. La Nina typically increases the likelihood of above-average rainfall across eastern and northern Australia during summer.