2019 was second hottest year on record with average global temperatures 1.1C above pre-industrial level.
2019 was the second warmest year on record according to the World Meteorological Organisation and the Met Office.
Average temperatures for the five-year (2015-2019) and ten-year (2010-2019) periods were the highest on record. Since the 1980s each decade has been warmer than the previous one.
This trend is expected to continue because of record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The annual global temperature in 2019 was 1.1°C warmer than the average for 1850-1900, used to represent pre-industrial conditions.
2016 remains the warmest year on record because of the combination of a very strong El Niño event, which has a warming impact, and long-term climate change.
“The average global temperature has risen by about 1.1°C since the pre-industrial era and ocean heat content is at a record level,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
“On the current path of carbon dioxide emissions, we are heading towards a temperature increase of 3 to 5 degrees Celsius by the end of century.”
Temperatures are only part of the story. The past year and decade have been characterized by retreating ice, record sea levels, increasing ocean heat and acidification, and extreme weather.
These have combined to have major impacts on the health and well-being of both humans and the environment, as highlighted by WMO’s Provisional Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2019, which was presented at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP25, in Madrid.
“The year 2020 has started out where 2019 left off – with high-impact weather and climate-related events. Australia had its hottest, driest year on record in 2019, setting the scene for the massive bushfires which were so devastating to people and property, wildlife, ecosystems and the environment,” said Mr Taalas.
“Unfortunately, we expect to see much extreme weather throughout 2020 and the coming decades, fuelled by record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” said Mr Taalas.
Scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre, the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and the UK National Centre for Atmospheric Science produce the HadCRUT4 dataset, which is used to estimate global temperature.
The HadCRUT4 global temperature series shows that the average for 2019 as a whole was 1.05±0.1 °C above pre-industrial levels, taken as the average over the period 1850-1900. 2019 is nominally the third warmest year in the HadCRUT4 series.
Dr Colin Morice of the Met Office Hadley Centre said: “Our collective global temperature figures agree that 2019 joins the other years from 2015 as the five warmest years on record.
“Each decade from the 1980s has been successively warmer than all the decades that came before. 2019 concludes the warmest ‘cardinal’ decade (those spanning years ending 0-9) in records that stretch back to the mid-19th century.”
Dr Morice concluded: “While we expect global mean temperatures to continue to rise in general, we don’t expect to see year-on-year increases because of the influence of natural variability in the climate system.”
On a mobile device ?. Scroll down to see the LIVE weather and tomorrows weather for Merseyside.
And like our facebook & twitter page to keep up to date with our latest posts.