Climate change
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Bengaluru: Last month was the warmest September globally since record keeping began, according to the European Union weather service Copernicus’s Climate Change Service (C3S).

It was 0.05°C hotter than September of 2019, which also set the record for the hottest September.

It was also the hottest September for Europe, beating the previous 2018 record by 0.2°C. The scientists also said that temperatures are well above average in other parts of the world including in the Middle East, parts of South America, Australia, and the Siberian Arctic.

According to scientists across the world, this is an alarming indication of the ongoing climate emergency wherein human emissions are causing global temperatures to rise.

The high global temperatures this year, despite near complete lockdown across countries, contributed majorly to record wildfires in Australia, Brazil, the Arctic Tundra, and North America. Wildfires in the US state of California have currently covered 1 million acres and continue to rage. Most of these fires were triggered by dry lightning.

The hottest daily temperature on record also occurred this year in August, where temperatures in Death Valley reached 54.4°C.

C3S data also showed that the average Arctic sea ice extent was the second lowest recorded for September. After a Siberian heat wave this year, the temperatures in the Arctic continue to be 8-10°C warmer than average, with the warmest temperatures in 3 million years, impacting sea ice to threaten polar bears, seals, algae, and plankton.

This year is projected to become the warmest on record for Europe and the Arctic, and will likely be the warmest year on record globally.

Also read: 2020 could be the world’s hottest year on record, scientists say

Extreme weather events

Increased warming, leading to increased evaporation, has also led to extreme weather events.

The US National Hurricane Center has run out of alphabetised names for Atlantic hurricanes for only the second time on record, switching to Greek letters for names. Hurricane Delta is currently about to wreak havoc in North America. It is the fastest hurricane on record to rapidly intensify from a tropical depression to a fully powerful hurricane, in just 36 hours.

The Atlantic Ocean has also seen other records this year, such as two new storms forming on the same day for the first time, as well as five tropical cyclones brewing simultaneously for the second time on record.

The Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea too have seen more number of hurricanes than average.

In India, lightning from extreme storms killed over 100 people in a day in Bihar and UP, setting a record. India was also battered by higher than usual super cyclones.

France and Italy are currently reeling under floods as record breaking rainfall of over half a meter occurred, twice within one month.

In the continent of Africa, Kenya and other countries in the Horn of Africa faced record floods this year, which led to a locust swarm outburst that invaded parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Over 150 people were also killed in Brazil after record rains and floods, which also hit Australia earlier this year.

The year also began with record snowing events in Canada’s Newfoundland region.

Also read: The Amazon is burning in 2020 again. It can just lead to more pandemics


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