2020 was warm, dry and sunny and clearly fits in with a trend. Weather experts at the Met Office in Ukkel say that in the terms of the Paris Climate Accord the temperatures recorded in 2020 show an increase of 3.3°C compared to pre-industrial times. “Climate change is noticeable” says climate scientist Rozenmien De Troch. Only July was colder than average. September was 1.5°C hotter than usual.
The five hottest years recorded in Ukkel all occurred during the past decade. 2020 was also a year with a very high average maximum temperature of 16.1°C. Nearly two degrees higher than usual.
Extremes too are becoming more common. Consider the August heatwave that lasted for 12(!) days and included a high of 35.9°C. The week to 12 August was the warmest ever recorded in Belgium.
Since 1892 highs in excess of 35°C were recorded on 11 days. Six of these days occurred during the past three summers.
During 2020 not a single day with highs below zero was recorded. This is exceptional. During an average year some 6.5 such days occur.
With a 3.3°C temperature increase in terms of the Paris Climate Accord that considers the averages of the pre-industrial period Belgium is hotting up more quickly than most other places. If the oceans that serve as a buffer to warming are included world temperature has already risen by 1.2°C compared to pre-industrial times. Worldwide 2020 is set to enter the Top 3 hottest years.