29 April, 2021
9 Min Read
The Global Climate 2020
GS-Paper-3: Environment – UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application
World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released its annual State of the Global Climate for 2020 on April 20, 2021. Irrespective of the widespread surmise that lockdowns and shutdowns to curb the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic would lower emissions and reduce the impact on climate, the report has scary findings.
According to the report:
Extreme weather combined with COVID-19 in a double blow for millions of people in 2020. However, the pandemic-related economic slowdown failed to put a brake on climate change drivers and accelerating impacts.
Five Key Indicators
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD)’s State of the Climate Report, the year 2020 was the eighth warmest since India started keeping records in 1901. The State of the Climate Report looks at temperature and rainfall trends annually.
Eighth Warmest Year 2020:
During the year, the annual average temperature in the country was 0.29 degree Celsius (°C) above normal (29-year average from 1981-2010).
However, it was much lower than 2016 (+0.71 degrees Celsius), which remains the warmest ever year the country has recorded since 1901.
Such temperature trends were reported despite the cooling effect of La Nina, a global weather pattern that prevailed in 2020 and is linked to substantially below normal temperatures in winter.
La Nina typically has a cooling effect on global temperatures, but this is now offset by global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions.
As a result, La Nina years now are warmer than years with El Niño events of the past.
El Nino and La Nina are the extreme phases of the El Niño and the Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle.
ENSO is a periodic fluctuation in sea surface temperature and the air pressure of the overlying atmosphere across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. It has a major influence on weather and climate patterns such as heavy rains, floods and drought.
El Niño has a warming influence on global temperatures, whilst La Nina has the opposite effect.
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