The Copernicus annual report concluded that the decade 2010-2020 was the hottest in history, closing 2020 with an increase of 0.4 degrees Celsius compared to 2019.
The report also indicates that carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere continued to rise over the past year at a rate of approximately 2.3 particles per million (ppm) with a peak of 431 ppm during May.
The year 2020 was 0.6 degrees Celsius warmer than the average between 1981 and 2010 and about 1.25 degrees above the pre-industrial period of 1850-1900.
According to these observations, the greatest annual temperature increase over the 1981-2010 average was concentrated in the Arctic Ocean and northern Siberia, reaching over 6 degrees Celsius above the average.
The forest fire season in the Arctic region was extremely active, with fires first recorded in May and continuing throughout the summer and even fall.
As a result, the Arctic Circle fires released a record 244 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2020, more than a third more than the 2019 record, adds the Copernicus report.
During the second half of the year, Arctic ice was significantly below average for that time of year, with the shortest stretch of sea ice recorded in July and October.
In general, the Northern Hemisphere had above average temperatures during 2020, while some parts of the Southern Hemisphere registered below average temperatures, especially in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific, associated with colder conditions, which developed during the second half of the year.
In turn, the 2020 fires in the Arctic and Australia represent only a small fraction of global fire emissions.
"Although carbon dioxide concentrations increased slightly less in 2020 than in 2019, this is no cause for celebration. Until global emissions are reduced to zero, carbon dioxide will continue to accumulate and drive climate change," said Vincent-Henri Peuch, director of Copernicus Atmosphere Watch Service.
In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Integrated Carbon Observation System estimated that in 2019 there was a reduction of about 7 percent in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel consumption due to the general decline in mobility.
The Copernicus project, an initiative of the European Union in conjunction with the European Space Agency, aims to observe the environment to better understand the environmental changes occurring on Earth.