Last month was the warmest September on record in the world, the European program Copernicus climate change service announced on Wednesday, which indicated that 2020 could be the warmest year in history, surpassing 2016.
Even Trinidad and Tobago recorded its hottest day for 2020 on September 15th, based on temperatures recorded at Piarco. Across most of the country, temperatures ranged between 30.0°C and 35.0°C, with some areas between 35.0°C and 38.0°C. The maximum recorded temperature occurred at the Piarco International Airport, came in at a scorching 34.8°C, recorded by the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service. Since this is the official temperature monitoring station for T&T’s records, this marks the hottest temperature for the year to date, beating the previous highest maximum temperature at Piarco on August 15th.
The 12-month period between October 2019 and September 2020 is 1.28 ° C above average temperatures in the pre-industrial era.
Taking into account that the last five years have been the hottest in history, the data approaches the planet to the limit of 1.5 ° C, the goal of the Paris Agreement.
The pact, signed in 2015 and in which almost 200 states have pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, aims to keep global warming below 1.5ºC, at most 2 ° C, to limit the impact of storms, droughts and other extreme phenomena increasingly devastating.
The temperature of the planet has already increased by more than 1 ° C and has increased by an average of 0.2 ° C per decade since the late 1970s, highlights the Copernicus program in its monthly climate balance.
And 2020 will not change the trend, as it also records the warmest months of January, May and June in history.
“Worldwide, September 2020 was 0.05 ° C above September 2019, the hottest month on record so far,” says the European service. This means 0.63 ° C above the average for the 1981-2020 period.
Temperatures were especially high in Siberia, following the trend of a heat wave that started in the spring (northern hemisphere) and which favored a series of major fires.
The heat was also above normal in the Arctic Ocean, highlights the program, recalling that this year the Arctic ice sheet ended the summer with the second smallest area in history, after the one recorded in 2012.
“The combination in 2020 of record temperatures and a reduced level of ice highlights the importance of improving control in a region with a temperature rise faster than the rest of the world”, comments Carlo Buontempo, director of the European program on climate change.
And the Great North was not the only affected area.
North America had a very hot September, especially with 49 ° C recorded earlier this month in Los Angeles County, in a California devastated by fires.
In addition to September, data from European satellites show that the period from January to September 2020 is warmer than the same period in 2019, the second year with the highest temperatures.
The analysis compares the nine months of 2020 and 2016, the hottest year in history, and reveals “quite similar” anomalies, according to Copernicus. But climatic phenomena such as the current development of La Niña, which tends to reduce the global temperature, “will influence the likelihood of 2020 becoming the warmest year in history.”
“There are three months left, during which anything can happen,” Freja Vamborg, a scientist at Copernicus, told AFP before recalling that the agency “does not make predictions about world temperatures.”
The Copernicus satellite database for observing temperatures begins in 1979, but conventional terrestrial data and information from other agencies show no year with higher temperatures before 1979, since the pre-industrial era.