Last decade warmest on record

The last decade has been confirmed as the warmest on record by three global agencies. By 2035 it is forecast to reach a critical level of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

According to NASA, NOAA and the UK Met Office, last year was the second warmest year, coming in around 1.7°F above the 20th-century average, just shy of the record set in 2016. The Bureau of Meteorology in Australia have also confirmed that 2019 was the warmest and driest year on record in Australia. The past five years were collectively the warmest since record-keeping began in 1850.

NASA and the UK Met Office blame human influence on warming the planet, citing man-made climate change as the main contributor. According to reports by both agencies, the average global surface temperature has risen since the 1880s, and the average temperature is now more than 2°F above that of the late 19th century.

Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s GISS said: “The decade that just ended is clearly the warmest decade on record. Every decade since the 1960s clearly has been warmer than the one before.

“We crossed over into more than 2°F warming territory in 2015 and we are unlikely to go back. This shows that what’s happening is persistent, not a fluke due to some weather phenomenon: we know that the long-term trends are being driven by the increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

Gareth Redmond-King, head of climate change at the World Wide Fund for Nature adds: “This is yet another reminder that we are running out of time to act on the climate crisis.”

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