2019 was Earth's second-hottest year on record
2019 has gone down on record as being the second hottest year in historical record since 1880, according to the US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and NASA.
The NOAA released its recap of 2019 climate conditions on January 15, 2020, showing that the planet's long-term warming trend is continuing.
The NOAA said the global average temperature in 2019 was 1.71°F (0.95°C) above the 20th-century average - the second-warmest year in the historical record dating back to 1880.
Additionally, the amount of heat energy stored in the top 2,000 meters of the ocean was the highest on record, the NOAA said.
Ocean warming can contribute to sea level rise, a critical issue for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Trinidad and Tobago.
"Globally, 2019 temperatures were second only to those of 2016 and continued the planet's long-term warming trend: the past five years have been the warmest of the last 140 years," said NASA.
The NOAA's analysis said the contrasts between unusually warm and unusually cool areas are larger over land than the ocean, and they shift around more from month to month.
Parts of Alaska, southern Africa, central Europe, and Australia experienced their warmest year on record, but no areas experienced their coldest year.
In fact, the only land area worldwide where temperatures averaged over the year were cooler than average was a small pocket of the northern United States, the NOAA said.
Highlights from the 2019 Global Climate Report
- 2019 marks the 43rd consecutive year (since 1977) with global land and ocean temperatures at least nominally above the twentieth-century average.
- The five warmest years have occurred since 2015; nine of the 10 warmest years have occurred since 2005. The year 1998 is the only twentieth-century year among the 10 warmest years on record.
- The annual global land and ocean temperature has increased at an average rate of +0.13°F (+0.07°C) per decade since 1880; however, since 1981 the average rate of increase is more than twice that rate (+0.32°F / +0.18°C).
- 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.
Read more highlights on 2019 temperature, precipitation, and snow and ice conditions from NOAA's National Center for Environmental Information here.