Although the pandemic slowed economic activity around the world, global greenhouse gas emissions were the highest on record in 2020.
The new ‘State of the Climate in 2020’ report by the American Meteorological Society, suggests all major greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide reached new record high concentrations for the year.
The global annual average atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration was 412.5 parts per million (ppm).
That was 2.5 ppm greater than 2019 amounts and was the highest in the modern 62-year measurement record and in ice core records dating back as far as 800,000 years.
In addition, the year-on-year increase of methane was the highest since measurements began.
The American Meteorological Society also claims that 2020 was Europe’s hottest year on record and that all seven warmest years have all occurred since 2014.
The average temperature in Europe last year was 1.9°C above the average for 1981-2010.
The report follows the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s new report that claimed that many changes to the climate are now irreversible for the next millennia due to past and future greenhouse gas emissions.