2020 was quite the year for a number of different reasons. There were more billion dollar weather disaster than ever before, including the derecho here in Iowa back in August. Hurricanes and wildfires also did their share of damage too. One thing that officials say makes these extreme weather events more likely is the continuing rise in the Earth's overall temperature. CBS2 reports that new data from the NOAA and NASA find that 2020 was the second warmest year on record.

Overall, the Earth's temperature rose by 1.76F in 2020. That was good for the 5th warmest year nationwide on record. The warmest spots last year included the northeast, and the desert southwest. California saw it's worst wildfire season ever recorded. So what about the state of Iowa?

Things aren't as simple here in Iowa. The state as a whole was 1.7 degrees above average according to CBS2. But it really is a tale of two halves of the state. Western Iowa saw horrible drought conditions for most of the year. Eastern Iowa, while dry, did not. If you look at Sioux City's temperature it was over a degree above average. Cedar Rapids was less than half a degree above normal.

There is no doubt that the Earth is warming up, and faster than ever before. Nine of the top 10 warmest years have happened since 2010. The debate about what causes the warming and how to slow it are the center of the climate change debate. No matter what you think causes it, we're living in a warmer world. And we're dealing with the consequences.

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