Hottest November on record sets Earth on pace for warmest year in history

Wildfire in Reno Nevada.
(Image credit: Trevor Bexon/Getty Images)

If you thought 2020 couldn't get worse, well, it did.

Last month just beat out November 2016 to become the hottest November on record, scientists with the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service said Monday. Temperatures before November were about the same as 2016, the hottest year on record, setting 2020 up to make history, The New York Times reports.

Copernicus scientists said November 2020 was about .1 degree Celsius — .2 degree Fahrenheit — warmer than November 2016 and November 2019, which were tied for the warmest months before. And when it comes to the average November temperature from 1981 to 2010, this year's November was about .8 degree Celsius, or 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit, warmer. The record came as countries across Europe saw their warmest fall of all time, while Australia saw massive heat waves that led to its hottest November as well. Those warm spells negated even the cooling effects of La Niña, which brought cold weather to Africa, Canada, and other parts of the world.

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"These records are consistent with the long-term warming trend of the global climate," Copernicus director Carlo Buontempo said in a statement. "All policymakers who prioritize mitigating climate risks should see these records as alarm bells." Several other scientists agreed that human-led climate change is the biggest cause of this warmer weather.

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