2019 was the second hottest year on record, per NASA and NOAA

Last year was the second-warmest year ever recorded and the past decade the hottest on record, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced on Wednesday.

Global surface temperatures in 2019 were cooler than only 2016, the agencies said.

The decade of 2010 to 2019 was also the warmest ever recorded and the past five years have been the five warmest, according to the agencies. 

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“Every decade since the 1960s clearly has been warmer than the one before,” said Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, in a statement. 

“What’s happening is persistent, not a fluke due to some weather phenomenon: we know that the long-term trends are being driven by the increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” Schmidt added. 

This past year, temperatures were 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (0.98 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 1951 to 1980 mean.

The statement said that weather dynamics affect regional temperatures, so they varied across the earth. 

The annual average temperature for the contiguous 48 United States was the 34th warmest on record, making it “warmer than average,” according to NOAA. 

Their finding echoes a similar analysis released last week by a European Union–affiliated organization that also found 2019 to be the second-warmest year globally.  

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