2020 US Temps & Billion-Dollar Disasters
The numbers are in and 2020 was the 5th hottest year on record for the United States. Looking at the top 10 hottest years on record in the U.S., 6 have occurred since the year 2000, with the top 5 years all occurring since 2012.
Despite reports of temporary dips in emissions early on in the pandemic, greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere continued to rise as they have since the industrial revolution (due to the burning of fossil fuels), with CO2 concentrations reaching an all-time high of 417ppm in May.
The warming trend in U.S (and indeed global) temperatures doesn’t just mean the smashing of high temperature records and alteration of seasonal patterns, it triggers a host of other changes in our climate and often makes extreme weather events both more frequent and more intense.
The U.S. experienced 22 billion-dollar disasters last year, costing us a total of $95 billion dollars. The severe impacts of climate change aren’t something we can leave in 2020, and making meaningful and sustained cuts in CO2 emissions is a significant challenge that’s still before us.