2019 is second hottest year on record, says EU climate monitoring service

One of hundreds of dead fish seen in the Nqweba Dam, South Africa, Jan 2, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SINGAPORE - The year 2019 was the second hottest year on record, the European Union's climate monitoring service said on Wednesday (Jan 8), with many of the individual months breaking temperature records.

Worldwide temperatures were only 0.04 deg C lower than in 2016, the warmest year on record, according to data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

Also, the five warmest years on record occurred in the last five years, while the period 2010-2019 was the warmest decade on record, with average temperatures going up by 0.6 deg C from the previous three decades.

The average temperature of the last five years was between 1.1 and 1.2 deg C higher than the pre-industrial level in the mid-18th century.

Global carbon dioxide concentrations have also continued to rise in recent years, said C3S.

"These are unquestionably alarming signs," said the director of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Copernicus Jean-Noel Thepaut.

He said that C3S' analysis is based on its dataset that now goes back to 1979, as well as climate data dating back to the pre-industrial era to ascertain long-term climate trends.

In December, the World Meterological Organisation also found global temperatures in 2019 to be 1.1 deg C above the pre-industrial average.

It said that man-made emissions from burning fossil fuels, building infrastructure, growing crops and transporting goods are set to break the record for atmospheric carbon concentrations, locking in further warming.

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