CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD)- The official numbers are in with 2020 going down as the second hottest year on record for the planet.
Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that the average global surface temperature in 2020 was 1.76 degrees Fahrenheit above average, falling just 0.04 of a degree short of the record set back in 2016.
NASA, using a similar analysis, found that 2020 matches 2016’s record with both now tied for the top spot. The fight for the #1 spot is not as significant as the overall warming trend with 2020 being the 44th consecutive year with above average land and ocean temperatures. 7 of the world’s hottest years have occurred since 2014.
Sea ice continues to dwindle as well with the warming temperatures. Arctic sea ice this year shrank to approximately 3.93 million square miles, matching the record for smallest coverage set in 2016 as well.
Locally, our annual average temperature of 68.1° at the Charleston airport ranked in the top 5 warmest years on record.