New Delhi, January 7 – In yet another indication of warming global temperatures, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said the year 2020 was the eighth warmest year since 1901. Besides this, 12 of the 15 warmest years in this period were in the past one-and-a-half-decade (2006-2020), indicating that global temperature has been rising in the recent past.
The IMD however said that 2020 was “substantially lower” than the highest warming observed in 2016.
It said the past two decades — 2001-2010 and 2011-2020 — were also the warmest decades on record with anomalies of 0.23 degree Celsius and 0.34 degree Celsius, respectively.
Speaking about India, IMD said the country’s averaged annual mean temperature during 1901-2020 showed an increasing trend of 0.62 degree C/100 years with significant increasing trend in maximum temperature (0.99 degree C/100 years) and relatively lower increasing trend (0.24 degree C/100 years) in minimum temperature.
“In 2020, annual mean land surface air temperature averaged over the country was 0.29 degree Celsius above normal (based on the data of 1981-2010). The year 2020 was the eighth warmest year on record since nation-wide records commenced in 1901,” the IMD said in a statement on Climate of India during 2020.
As per the statement, India’s averaged mean monthly temperatures were also warmer than the normal during all the months of the year except March and June.
The mean temperatures exceeded the normal during September (by 0.72 degree C, warmest since 1901), August (by 0.58 degree C, second warmest), October (by 0.94 degree C, third warmest), July (by 0.56 degree C, fifth warmest), and December (by 0.39 degree C, seventh warmest).
The IMD said that the five warmest years on record were: 2016 (0.71 degree C), 2009 (0.55 degree C), 2017 (0.541 degree C), 2010 (0.539 degrees C), and 2015 (0.42 degree C).
Apart from this, the IMD said extreme weather conditions led to the death of more than 1,565 people last year with thunderstorm and lightning claiming the lives of 815 of them.
Cyclones killed 115 people and more than 17,000 livestock in India in 2020.