An international, peer-reviewed publication released each summer, the State of the Climate is the authoritative annual summary of the global climate published as a supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The report, compiled by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, is based on contributions from scientists from around the world. It provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events, and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments located on land, water, ice, and in space.
Some key points include:
- Despite economic disruptions due to the global COVID-19 pandemic during most of 2020 that resulted in an estimated 6%–7% reduction in human-caused carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions into Earth’s atmosphere, this was not enough to slow the accumulation of concentration levels. All major greenhouse gases, including CO2 , reached new record high concentrations for the year.
- In 2020, the globally averaged ocean heat content was at a record high, and the global sea surface temperature was the third highest on record, surpassed only by 2016 and 2019.
- The average surface air temperature over Arctic land areas in 2020 was the highest in the 121-year record, with notably high temperatures over north-central Siberia during most of the year.