Meteorologists say 2020 on course to be hottest year since records began

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[Reading level: B2 – Upper Intermediate]

Although the coronavirus lockdown has temporarily cleared the skies, it has done nothing to cool the climate, which needs deeper, longer-term measures, the scientists say.

 

Heat records have been broken from the Antarctic to Greenland since January, which has surprised many scientists because this is not an El Niño year, the phenomenon usually associated with high temperatures.

 

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calculates there is a 75% chance that 2020 will be the hottest year since measurements began.

 

The US agency said trends were closely tracking the current record of 2016, when temperatures soared early in the year due to an unusually intense El Niño and then came down.

 

The agency said there was a 99.9% likelihood that 2020 will be one of the top five years for temperatures on record.

 

A separate calculation by Gavin Schmidt, the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, found a 60% chance this year will set a record.

 

The Met Office is more cautious, estimating a 50% likelihood that 2020 will set a new record, though the UK institution says this year will extend the run of warm years since 2015, which is the hottest period on record.

 

Abnormal weather is increasingly the norm as temperature records fall year after year, and month after month.

 

This January was the hottest on record, leaving many Arctic nations without snow in their capital cities. In February, a research base in the Antarctic registered a temperature of more than 20oC (68oF) for the first time on the southern continent. At the other end of the world, Qaanaaq, in Greenland, set an April record of 6oC on Sunday.

 

In the first quarter, the heating was most pronounced in eastern Europe and Asia, where temperatures were 3oC above average. In recent weeks, large parts of the US have sweltered. Last Friday, downtown Los Angeles hit an April high of 34oC, according to the National Weather Service. Western Australia has also experienced record heat.

 

In the UK, the trend is less pronounced. The daily maximum UK temperature for April so far is 3.1oC above average, with records set in Cornwall, Dyfed and Gwynedd.

 

Karsten Haustein, a climate scientist at the University of Oxford, said global warming was nudging closer to 1.2oC above pre-industrial levels. He said his online tracker showed a relatively conservative level of 1.14oC of warming due to gaps in the data, but that this could rise to 1.17oC or higher once the latest figures were incorporated.

 

Although the pandemic has at least temporarily reduced the amount of new emissions, he said the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere remains a huge concern.

 

“The climate crisis continues unabated,” Haustein said. “The emissions will go down this year, but the concentrations keep on rising. We are very unlikely to be able to notice any slowdown in the built-up of atmospheric GHG levels. But we have the unique chance now to reconsider our choices and use the corona crisis as a catalyst for more sustainable means of transport and energy production (via incentives, taxes, carbon prices etc).”

 

This was echoed by Grahame Madge, a climate spokesman for the Met Office: “A reliance and trust in science to inform action from governments and society to solve a global emergency are exactly the measures needed to seed in plans to solve the next crisis facing mankind: climate change.”

 

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/27/meteorologists-say-2020-on-course-to-be-hottest-year-since-records-began

WORD BANK:

lockdown /ˈlɒk.daʊn/ (n): lệnh phong tỏa

temporarily /ˈtem.pər.er.əl.i/ [B2] (adv): tạm thời

Antarctic /ænˈtɑːk.tɪk/ (n): Nam Cực

phenomenon /fəˈnɒm.ɪ.nən/ (n): hiện tượng

associated with sth /əˈsəʊ.si.eɪ.tɪd/ (adj): gắn liền với cái gì

measurement /ˈmeʒ.ə.mənt/ [C2] (n): phép đo, sự đo lường

agency /ˈeɪ.dʒən.si/ [B1] (n): cơ quan

track /træk/ [C2] (v): theo dõi, đi theo

soar /sɔːr/ [C2] (v): tăng vọt

intense /ɪnˈtens/ [C1] (adj): dữ dội

likelihood /ˈlaɪ.kli.hʊd/ [C2] (n): khả năng

separate /ˈsep.ər.ət/ [B1] (adj): riêng biệt

cautious /ˈkɔː.ʃəs/ [B2] (adj): thận trọng

institution /ˌɪn.stɪˈtʃuː.ʃən/ [B2] (n): tổ chức

abnormal /æbˈnɔː.məl/ [C1] (adj): bất thường

norm /nɔːm/ [C1] (n): điều bình thường, chuẩn mực

Arctic /ˈɑːk.tɪk/ (n): Bắc Cực

register /ˈredʒ.ɪ.stər/ [C2] (v): ghi nhận

continent /ˈkɒn.tɪ.nənt/ [B1] (n): lục địa

pronounced /prəˈnaʊnst/ (adj): rõ rệt

swelter /ˈswel.tər/ (n, v): thời tiết oi ả, nóng oi ả

nudge /nʌdʒ/ (v): nhích

relatively /ˈrel.ə.tɪv.li/ [B2] (adv): tương đối

conservative /kənˈsɜː.və.tɪv/ (adj): thấp

gap /ɡæp/ [B2] (n): khoảng trống

incorporate /ɪnˈkɔː.pər.eɪt/ (v): tich hợp, kết hợp

unabated /ˌʌn.əˈbeɪ.tɪd/ (adj): không suy giảm

catalyst for sth /ˈkæt.əl.ɪst/ (n): chất xúc tác cho cái gì

sustainable /səˈsteɪ.nə.bəl/ [C1] (adj): bền vững

incentive /ɪnˈsen.tɪv/ [C2] (n): ưu đãi

echo /ˈek·oʊ/ (v): đồng tình với ý kiến nào đó


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