2020 expected to be Earth’s warmest year on record, scientists say

USA Today discusses why 2020 is expected to be Earth’s warmest year on record, scientists say.

  • This year’s warmth is “unusual,” given the lack of a strong El Niño.
  • Already, through the first three months of the year, it’s the second-warmest on record.
  • There’s a 99.9% chance that 2020 will end among the five warmest years on record.

Federal scientists announced Thursday that 2020 has nearly a 75% chance of being the warmest year on record for the planet Earth.

Already, through the first three months of the year, it’s the second-warmest on record, trailing only the El Niño fueled year of 2016, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.

This year’s warmth is “unusual,” given the lack of a strong El Niño, a natural warming of tropical Pacific Ocean water that influences temperatures worldwide, according to Deke Arndt of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

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