2020: One of the Hottest Years on Record


Meghan Shelley, Staff Writer

2020 is a year that will certainly live in infamy for many reasons. Convoluted with a global pandemic, wildfires, deadly bees, and political turmoil. However, one of the most devastating aspects that has been overlooked was the intense impact of global warming. In fact, 2020 has been recorded as one of the years with the highest temperatures so far. NASA reports it to be on-par with 2016 as the hottest year yet, while NOAA reveals it to be the second warmest. The difference comes from how the two groups evaluate data, since NOAA does not extrapolate temperatures of the arctic, to compensate for the data that is not available from there. 

These high temperatures, and changes to the climate have continued to lead to devastating outcomes. This year marked the first time recorded temperatures above the Arctic Circle reached over 100 degrees fahrenheit. The world’s ocean temperatures also climbed to the third highest they have ever been, with hotspots forming as a result of the ongoing process of climate change. 

In more positive news, the Arctic Wildlife Refuge has officially been closed to oil drilling by newly-elected President Joe Biden. On his first day in office, he also had the U.S rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, a global agreement between around one hundred-and-ninety countries with the hopes of decreasing and defeating climate change. The agreement aims to achieve a climate neutral world by mid-century. While this is a positive step in the right direction, the United States has a great amount of catching up to do, due to the country revoking their participation in the agreement during President Trump’s previous term. It is important we all do our best to reduce our own personal carbon footprint, but remember the most important thing is to hold large companies accountable and push for positive reform to protect our environment and ensure a bright future for generations to come.