‘2019 second hottest year on record’: EU’s climate monitoring service

Abhimanyu Chakravorty

As per the data released by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), worldwide temperatures last year were second only to 2016. (Representative image)

2019 was the second hottest year on record and ended the hottest decade in history, the European Union's climate monitoring service announced Wednesday. As per the data released by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), worldwide temperatures last year were second only to 2016, in which temperatures were boosted 0.12 degrees Celsius by an exceptionally strong El Nino natural weather event.

The data suggested that the average temperature in 2019 was only a few hundredths of a degree below the 2016 level. The last five years have been the hottest on record, and the period of 2010-2019 was the hottest decade since records began, C3S said.

Globally temperatures in 2019 were 0.6 Celsius warmer than the 1981-2010 average. Earth's temperature over the last five years was 1.1C-1.2C warmer than pre-industrial times. Last year was Europe's hottest ever.

Head of C3S Carlo Buontempo said that 2019 has been another exceptionally warm year, in fact, the second warmest globally in our dataset, with many of the individual months breaking records.

2019 was just 0.04C cooler than 2016, which saw temperatures boosted by a once-in-a-century strength El Nino. C3S also said that atmospheric carbon concentrations continued to rise in 2019, reaching their highest levels on record.

Last year, the United Nations had said that human-induced greenhouse gas emissions needed to come down 7.6 per cent each year to 2030 in order to limit temperature rises to 1.5C. In fact, the latest United Nations Emissions Gap Report 2019 had also presented unfavourable climate news: There’s a yawning gap between ‘what countries have committed and what they actually require to do to limit greenhouse gas targets’. In essence, the emissions report says that greenhouse gases (GHGs) rose over 1.5 per cent a year over the last decade.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has also warned that going beyond 1.5 degrees celsius means the “bringing of eve wider-ranging and more destructive climate impacts” including storm and heatwaves.

2020, too, started on a sombre note as it witnessed climate-related disasters such as the fires pulverising Australia and massive flooding killing scores of people in Indonesia.