If you lived on Earth last year, you knew it was freaking hot. Now the scientists have confirmed it. In fact, 2019 was the second hottest year on record, according to data the European Copernicus Climate Change Service released Wednesday.
“2019 has been another exceptionally warm year, in fact, the second warmest globally in our dataset with many of the individual months breaking records,” Carlo Buontempo, head of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, said in an emailed statement to Gizmodo.
The annual average temperature for 2019 was 0.6 degrees Celsius higher than the average between 1981 to 2010. That puts 2019 only 0.04 degrees Celsius cooler than 2016, the hottest year on record. All told, the last five years were the five warmest on record. That heat is one of the most telltale signs of the impact carbon pollution is having on our planet.
And the heat ain’t stopping, man. This is only the beginning.
Large parts of the Arctic suffered with hotter than normal temperatures. Alaska had its hottest year on record, and set other weird anomalies including the first 90-degree Fahrenheit day in Anchorage.
The heat also spread to eastern and southern Europe, southern Africa, and Australia. In Australia, record-breaking heat and prolonged drought have created the perfect conditions for the devastating bush fires the continent is now experiencing. Climate change forecasts show that with more heat, more fire will come in the future, too.
The last decade was the hottest on record, and the next one could well be even hotter. The deadly consequences of our warming world are already here. And unless world leaders uproot our current economic model that relies on the consumption of dirty fossil fuels, we’re headed toward a warmer and much more terrifying world.