U.N. says 2020 likely second hottest year

2020 is on track to be the second hottest year on record, behind 2016.

Five data sets currently place 2020, a year characterized by heatwaves, droughts, wildfires and raging hurricanes, as the second warmest since records began in 1850, according to the World Meteorological Organization- a UN agency- in a report out Wednesday.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a speech to Columbia University Wednesday that human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are to blame and policies have yet to rise to the challenge.

“To put it simply, the state of the planet is broken. Dear friends, humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal. Nature always strikes back -- and it is already doing so with growing force and fury. (flash) This is an epic policy test. But ultimately this is a moral test."

The U.S report said extreme heat stoked wildfires this year across Australia, Siberia and the United States, sending smoke plumes around the globe….

Less visible was a surge in marine heat to record levels, with more than 80% of the global ocean experiencing a heatwave.

Video Transcript

- 2020 is on track to be the second hottest year on record, behind 2016. Five data sets currently place 2020, a year characterized by heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and raging hurricanes, as the second warmest since records began in 1850, according to the World Meteorological Organization-- a UN agency-- in a report on Wednesday.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a speech to Columbia University Wednesday that human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are to blame and policies have yet to rise to the challenge.

ANTONIO GUTERRES: To put it simply, the state of the planet is broken. Dear friends, humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal. Nature always strikes back, and it is already doing so with growing force and fury. This is an epic policy test. But ultimately, this is a moral test.

- The US report said extreme heat stoked wildfires this year across Australia, Siberia, and the United States, sending smoke plumes around the globe. Less visible was a surge in marine heat to record levels, with more than 80% of the global ocean experiencing a heat wave.