DESPARDES Report: 2019 was the second-hottest year on Earth since records began, according to climate scientists.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirmed on Wednesday that based on data, the average global temperature last year was 1.1 degree Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels, mostly because of climate change.
The Geneva-based WMO combined several datasets, including two from the US space administration NASA and the UK Met Office. These showed the average global temperature creeping towards a globally agreed limit after which major changes to life on earth are expected.
It also expects to see much more extreme weather this year and in the coming decades, due to record levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
It added extreme weather has caused disasters around the globe, including raging bushfires in Australia which is enduring its driest year ever.
Earlier this week, scientists reported that Earth’s oceans have never been hotter.
Scientists at NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also say last year was the second warmest in recorded history.
The statistical analysis and climate models deployed by each agency came to the same conclusion: 2019 was the second hottest in recorded history. Only 2016 was hotter.
Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, GISS, determined 2019 was 0.98 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean temperature from 1951 to 1980. Climate scientists at NOAA calculated that 2019 was 0.95 degrees Celsius warmer than the 20th-century average.
“Every decade since the 1960s clearly has been warmer than the one before”, Gavin Schmidt, director of GISS, said in a news release.
Like most climate scientists, including the WMO, Schmidt blamed the record temperatures on greenhouse gas emissions.