NEW YORK — The numbers are in.
Climate experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA have released their annual assessment of global temperatures over the previous 12 months. From record wildfires in California to the busiest Atlantic hurricane season, last year was filled with many weather extremes.
With regards to exactly where 2020 falls in the record books, the results may vary depending on who you ask. According to NOAA, 2020 is now ranked No. 2 warmest year on record, putting 2019 No. 3.
However, NASA said 2020 is now tied for the No. 1 spot along with 2016. How is this possible?
Well for starters, scientists use different mathematical equations to track temperature changes, and how much of the globe they represent. There are small differences in those results, which account for the difference in ranking.
NOAA and NASA monitored satellites in orbit and about 20,000 weather stations all over the planet. Despite the varying results, the consensus is all the same: the past seven years have been the warmest years on record, dating all the way back to 1880.
That also rings true for New York City. According to the National Weather Service, last year Central Park tied 2012 for warmest annual average temperatures on record, with a reading of 57.3 degrees, 2.3 degrees above normal.
Scientists said understanding these long-term changes is vital to how we protect our environment and mitigate extreme weather patterns. That’s why it’s important for us to do our part.
That includes voting for politicians who make fighting climate change a priority, the scientists said, and making sustainable choices regarding traveling and the foods we consume. Finally, choose more energy efficient options for your home.