The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service has confirmed that September 2020 was 0.05°C warmer than 2019 and 0.08°C warmer than in 2016, the previous monthly records. It is possible that 2020 could be the warmest year ever recorded, depending on La Nina weather patterns and autumn Arctic ice cover in the last three months of the year.
The record temperatures were recorded in Europe, Australia, parts of South America, and the middle East.
Europe was about 0.2°C warmer than the previous warmest September in 2018, with records set in France as well as the Black Sea. Record high temperatures were also recorded in Turkey, Israel and Jordan.
Paraguay, southern Brazil, and Australia also recorded the second hottest September. In Siberia, winter and spring were unusually warm with temperatures in May about 10°C higher than usual, and in June about 5°C higher than the 1981-2010 average. This pattern continued through September. Los Angeles and Death Valley also recorded temperatures of 49°C and 54°C, respectively.
Notably, Arctic sea ice was at its second lowest level on record measured both on a daily basis and as an average for the month of September, continuing a pattern of sea ice reduction and September the month with the lowest values.
In the first nine months of this year, three have broken the global record for average temperature using Copernicus' measures. This denotes a dangerous and undeniable trend toward temperature levels that international groups have warned would be devastating to the Earth.
The Copernicus data suggests that overall, the month was nearly 1.3°C higher than pre-industrial levels, very close to the maximum target level suggested by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
These temperatures contributed to record-breaking wildfires in northeastern Russia and California which, in turn, contribute to carbon emissions. Scientists estimate that the CO2 emissions from the Arctic Circle fires are accountable for 244 megatonnes of carbon from January 1 to August 31, 2020 as compared to 181 megatonnes of carbon produced for all of 2019.