"It may only be February, but 2020 is already “virtually certain” to be among the 10 warmest years on record, and has nearly a 50 percent chance of being the warmest ever, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.
The predictions follow a January that was the warmest ever in 141 years of record keeping, Karin Gleason, a climatologist with the National Centers for Environmental Information, said in a conference call. Global average temperatures last month were 2.05 degrees Fahrenheit (1.14 degrees Celsius) above average, slightly higher than in January 2016, the previous record-holder.
In comparing this year with previous years, Ms. Gleason said, one way to look at it is “we completed the first lap in a 12-lap race, and we are in the lead.”"
Henry Fountain reports for the New York Times February 20, 2020.