The State of the Climate report said 2019's heat capped off the hottest decade recorded. Image by AP PHOTO

Environment

2019 hottest year, ending warmest decade

2020-08-14 01:57:48

The past decade was the world’s hottest since records began in the Industrial Revolution, a new report has warned.

Last year was one of the three hottest years since the 1800s, only outstripped by 2016, and 2015 in some analyses, the 30th edition of the Bulletin Of The American Meteorological Society said.

The data for last year showed the global climate was continuing to change rapidly, experts said, with consequences from melting glaciers to exceptional wildfires.

The peer-reviewed State Of The Climate report said 2019 saw out the warmest decade on record, and that each decade since 1980 had been successively warmer than the one before.

The last decade, 2010-2019, was 0.2C warmer than the previous 10 years from 2000-2009.

The report, which has contributions from climate scientists from around the world, also said lake temperatures were above long-term averages, and temperatures for permafrost – or permanently frozen ground – were increasing.

Mountain glaciers shrank across the globe for the 32nd consecutive year and wildfires raged in Australia, the Amazon, Indonesia and Siberia.

Robert Dunn from the UK Met Office said: “The view for 2019 is that climate indicators and observations show that the global climate is continuing to change rapidly.

“Global average temperature is perhaps the simplest climate indicator through which to view the changes taking place in our climate.

“A number of extreme events, such as wildfires, heatwaves and droughts, have at least part of their root linked to the rise in global temperature.”

And he said the rise in global temperatures was linked to the ongoing increase in emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.