Last decade was Earth's hottest on record exposing grim reality of climate change

Date Added: August 13, 2020 10:08:26 AM
Author: Sutra Web Directory
Category: Health & Fitness: Environmental Health

A new report released Wednesday details how 2019 was another year of extremes for Earth's climate, adding to a litany of evidence exposing the grim reality of our warming world.

Last year saw devastating wildfires burn through Australia; large regions including Europe, Japan, Pakistan, and India experienced deadly heat waves; almost 100 tropical cyclones created havoc; glaciers and sea ice continued to melt at worrying levels; and drought and floods destroyed vital crops and infrastructure.

Among the key findings of the State of the Climate in 2019, published by the American Meteorological Society, was that 2019 was among the warmest years on record, that greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are at their highest recorded levels and this decade is the hottest since records began in the mid-1800s.

"Each decade since 1980 has been successively warmer than the preceding decade, with the most recent (2010-1019) being around 0.2°C warmer than the previous (2000-2009)," the report said. "As a primary driver for our changing climate, the abundance of many long-lived greenhouse gases continues to increase."

The study also reported other key findings:

  • The six warmest years on record have all occurred in the past six years, since 2014.
  • 2019 was among the three hottest years since records began in the mid-1800s. Only 2016, and for some datasets 2015, were warmer than 2019.
  • Average sea surface temperatures in 2019 was the second highest on record, surpassed only by 2016.
  • Sea levels rose to a new record high for the eighth consecutive year.
  • Surface air temperatures for the Arctic were the second highest in 120 years of records, trailing only 2016. In the Antarctic, 2019 was the second warmest year for the continent since 1979.
  • Glaciers continue to melt at a concerning rate for the 32nd straight year.

The warming influence of the major greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere -- including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide -- was 45% higher than in 1990, the researchers found. The burning of fossil fuels in our cars, airplanes, and factories releases heat-trapping pollution into the air, warming up our planet.

Global carbon dioxide concentrations, which represent the bulk of the gases' warming power, rose during 2010 to a record 409.8 parts per million, the study found. That was the "highest in the modern 61-year measurement record as well as the highest ever measured in ice core records dating back as far as 800,000 years," the report said.

~ Via CNN