2019 is the second warmest year ever recorded
2019 is definitely the second warmest year ever measured, according to a new report from the American space organization NASA, among others.
According to the latest surveys, the last ten and five years have also been the hottest since the measurements began, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) write.
The development is exceptional, because there was no powerful El Niño this year. This makes the measurements a strong indication of a worldwide rising temperature. The average temperature in 2019 was about 1.1 degrees above the average in the period 1850-1900, before people started burning fossil fuels on a large scale.
The temperatures in 2016, the hottest year ever measured, are only a fraction above that of 2019. That year, El Niño introduced a large amount of heat from the Pacific Ocean into the atmosphere.
Although measurements only started in the mid-nineteenth century, ice cores show that the current temperatures were last reached 100,000 years ago. In addition, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is just as high as millions of years ago, when the sea level was 15 to 20 meters higher. Scientists have warned that if global warming exceeds 1.5 degrees, this will have serious consequences for hundreds of millions of people.
“The last decade was undoubtedly the hottest decade ever measured and is the first decade with temperatures higher than in the latter part of the nineteenth century,” NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt told The Guardian.
“It is important to see that all the evidence – from a multitude of independent data sets – shows that the world is warming up, that this is driven by human activity and that it is clear that the consequences are being felt.”