Data shows 2020 was Europe’s warmest year on record

BERLIN (AP) — 2020 was the warmest year in Europe since records began, according to data published Friday by the EU climate monitoring service.

Last year topped the previous temperature record in Europe — 2019 — by a whopping 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.72 Fahrenheit), the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said.

It said 2020 was also tied with 2016 for the warmest year worldwide, confirming the past decade as the hottest on record.

Rising global temperatures are tied to the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Chief among them is carbon dioxide, which is released by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.

The data showed 2020 was 1.25 C (2.2 F) warmer than during the pre-industrial period from 1850-1900.

Scientists say global warming should be capped at 1.5 C (2.7 F) to avert the worst effects of climate change.

The Copernicus service noted that some of the highest temperature increases were observed in parts of the Arctic and Siberia, which also had an unusually active wildfire season in 2020.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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