2020 is Hottest Year on Record


Hailey Bennett

Now that we’re out of 2020, we can look back on the notorious year of disasters- with the threatening rise of COVID in the beginning of the year, 2020 came in hot… both figuratively and literally. Globally, 2020 was the hottest year on record, effectively tying with 2016, the previous record holder. In July 2020, global land and surface temperature was 1.66 degrees above the 20th century global average of 60.4 degrees. The hottest day of last year was August 16 in Death Valley, California, which hit a sweltering 129.9 degrees Fahrenheit. This surge in temperatures was accompanied by natural disasters that persisted throughout 2020. 


The year started off with its worst foot forward. In January, the Australian wildfires burned through March and into May. This horrific incident affected 46 million acres of land and killed at least 478 people. Also in January, a volcano erupted in the Philippines, killing 39 people. On January 24, an earthquake with the magnitude of 6.8 struck in Eastern Turkey. As the year continued, worsening natural disasters continued to wreak havoc in the world. In November, Hurricane Eta killed at least 150 people in Central America. Despite the recent threats of a tornado in Union Country, we can still hope that 2021 will be filled with more pleasant events than natural disasters- or at least a drop in temperature.

Photo Credit: Matthew Abbott for the New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/world/australia/bushfire.html