Jan 2, 2020

2019 was likely the second-hottest year in recorded history

The Rhone glacier in Obergoms, Switzerland melting. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

It's almost time to officially conclude that 2019 was the second-hottest year in temperature records that date back to the 1800s.

Driving the news: "It appears nearly certain (>99% likelihood) that 2019 will conclude as the second-warmest year since measurements began in 1850, behind only the exceptional warmth of 2016," the research group Berkeley Earth confirmed a few days ago.

Why it matters: The comment in their analysis of November's temperatures is the latest evidence of the long-term warming trend that stems from human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.

  • It's consistent with other analyses showing that it's likely 2019 will end up as the second-warmest. NASA is slated to announce a similar finding later this month.

The big picture: "With the decade coming to a close, [it's] clear that the period from 2010–2019 was the warmest decade the world has seen since records began in the mid-18o0s. It was around 0.19C warmer than the 2000s, and 1.1C warmer than the preindustrial period," Berkeley Earth's Zeke Hausfather tweeted on New Year's Eve.

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Hottest decade on record

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

2019 wasn't just the second-hottest year on record — the 2010s will go down as the hottest decade in human memory, per a new report.

Driving the news: The Copernicus Climate Change Service found "an unrelenting upward trend in temperatures as emissions of greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere and change the climate," the N.Y. Times notes.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020

The 2010s were officially the hottest decade on record

Residents defend a property from a bushfire at Hillsville near Taree, north of Sydney in Australia on Nov. 12. Photo: Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

It's official: Last year was the world's second hottest on record, and 2010-2019 was the hottest decade ever recorded.

Why it matters: The findings, published in two separate reports by NOAA and the British weather service the Met Office Wednesday, are in line with those of research group Berkeley Earth, revealed at the start of the year. It's yet more evidence of the long-term warming trend that stems from human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.

Alaska experienced its hottest year on record in 2019

Photo: Vintagepix/Getty Images

Alaska endured its hottest year in recorded history in 2019, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information.

By the numbers: The state's average temperature sat at 32.2°F, which was 6.2°F hotter than the long-term average. Last year's temperatures topped 2016's previous record, which saw the statewide average at 31.9°F. For the first time on record, Anchorage recorded a 90°F day in July.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020