July 2020 was the second warmest July since adequate global data began in 1880, second to July 2019. Global temperature was 0.89⁰C relative to the 1951-1980 base period and 1.12⁰C relative to 1880-1920.
The first seven months in 2020 was the second warmest January-July at 1.08⁰C (1.36⁰C relative to 1880-1920), but 2016 was just barely warmer at 1.09⁰C relative to 1951-1980.
The important matter, however, is not the interesting horse race between 2020 and 2016, but rather the apparent acceleration of global warming during the past several years, as shown by the figure below. The 12-month running has reached its relative maximum and will decline during the next several months as the budding La Nina in the Tropical Pacific will cause global temperature in coming months to fall generally below the temperature in the corresponding months in 2019 (red circles in graph above).
However, global temperature is clearly running well above the linear trend that existed for decades. In an upcoming communication we will discuss the relation of the warming rate to changing climate forcings.