2019 was 2nd hottest year on record for Earth

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Two U.S. agencies - the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA - say the decade that just ended was by far the hottest ever measured on Earth, capped off by the second-warmest year on record.

"January previous year was the warmest month Australia has ever recorded, while just a few weeks ago in December, we saw the Australia-wide record hottest daily average maximum temperature broken multiple days in a row".

Scientists warn that they see no end to the way anthropogenic or man-made climate change keeps breaking records.

In fact, global temperatures of 2019 were 0.6 degree Celsius higher than 30 years average from 1981-2010, which is huge.

"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", WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said.

"This is going to be part of what we see every year until we stabilize greenhouse gases" from the burning of coal, oil and gas, Schmidt said. Actually, the World Meteorological Organization not only used data from NASA, NOAA, and the UK Met Office, but the Copernicus climate change service and the Japan Meteorological Agency.

"NOAA found the 2019 annual mean temperature for the contiguous 48 United States was the 34th warmest on record, giving it a "warmer than average" classification", wrote NASA. But scientists' estimates of ancient global temperatures, based on tree rings, ice cores and other telltale signs, are not precise enough to say that with certainty. Only December 2015 was warmer.

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According to NOAA, temperature increases in the Oceania region have been accelerating in recent decades, with temperatures increasing at an average rate of 0.12°C per decade since 1910, but this rate has nearly doubled to 0.22°C per decade since 1981.

For the 21-year span that is considered a reasonable surrogate for pre-industrial conditions (1880-1900), the 2019 global land and ocean temperature was 2.07°F (1.15°C) above the average.

"We crossed over into more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit [over 1.1 degrees Celsius] warming territory in 2015 and we are unlikely to go back", Schmidt said in the statement.

Several parts of the world saw record-high average land temperatures including Australia, where high temperatures and drought made more severe by climate change are believed to have worsened the devastating wildfires.

The hottest year on record was in 2016 at 1.2 Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the WMO said, due to the warming impact of an El Nino event.

"If it seems like we are reporting on a new climate record being broken week after week, it's because the planet is getting hotter and hotter", member of the Climate Council, professor Will Steffen said. Carbon emissions are the root cause of atmospheric warming since the rise of big industry in the mid- to the late 1800s. The effects of human-induced climate change are not limited to surface temperature.

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