September 2020 was hottest on record - NOAA

From Siberia to South America, scorching temperatures around the world made last month the hottest September ever on record, according to scientists at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

It's drawing out a long-standing trend of global warming caused by emissions of heat-trapping gases.

And scientists say the high temperatures have played a major role fueling the biggest environmental disasters this year, from the raging wildfires in California--to the floods across Asia.

NOAA climatologist Ahira Sanchez-Lugo says there's a good chance this could be the hottest year on record.

"A small change in the mean of the global temperature can lead to big changes in extreme weather. And so what we're seeing right now is that we do expect for heatwaves to become more frequent, more intense, and we're already seeing that in terms of drought as well. The general rule of thumb is that areas that are dry will get drier and areas that are which will get wetter."

Under the 2015 Paris climate accord countries across the globe agreed to attempt to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius, which scientists say would avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.

Even though large emitters like China and the European Union have pledged to slash their emissions in the coming decades, current policies would still see temperatures rise far beyond the 1.5 degree level.