Scientists announced Wednesday that 2019 now ranks as the second hottest year globally. It comes in second to 2016 by less than 0.75°F (or about 0.04°C). Five of the warmest years in recorded history have occurred since 2015.
Global average temperatures in 2019 were 1.71°F (0.95°C) above the 20th century average, according to a new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA. Several months throughout the year saw their highest global temperatures in recorded history, including June, when many European countries recorded record-breaking heat. The year was also the hottest on record for Alaska, where wildfires burned throughout the state over the summer.
Scientists also announced Monday that ocean temperatures are hotter than they’ve ever been. “We are heating the oceans today by the equivalent heat of five Hiroshima bombs every second, day and night, 365 days a year,” says John Abraham, professor of thermal sciences at the University of St. Thomas, who co-authored the study on oceanic temperature rise.
— NOAA (@NOAA) January 15, 2020
Oceanic temperature increase will lead to more severe and frequent natural disasters like hurricanes; will increase sea levels; and can permanently damage animal life, Abraham tells TIME.
A 2018 study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nation’s climate body, previously warned that a global temperature rise of 1.5°C above preindustrial levels could have disastrous consequences.
“Temperatures will continue to increase and break records for decades to come—until global emissions reach net zero CO2,” says Piers Forster, professor of climate physics at the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds, in an emailed statement to TIME. “So we need to make sure our infrastructure and our food systems can live with this new normal.”
Source:: Time – World