2019 second warmest year on record, what is it causing?
An independent study conducted by NASA and NOAA suggests that 2019 has been the warmest years since the recordkeeping started in the 1880s.
An independent study conducted by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) observed that the Earth's global temperature in 2019 has been the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880s. The warmest year was 2016. The study also mentions that the last five years have been the warmest in the last 140 years.
Constant increase in temperature:
The average global surface temperature has been constantly increasing every decade since the 1960s. Gavin Schmidt, the director at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), says: “The decade that just ended is clearly the warmest decade on record. Every decade since the 1960s clearly has been warmer than the one before.”
According to scientists from GISS, 2019 has been 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the mean temperature observed between 1951 to 1980.
NOAA scientists say that the global temperatures in 2019 were 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit (0.95 degrees Celsius) above the 20th-century average.
“We crossed over into more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit warming territory in 2015 and we are unlikely to go back. This shows that 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,” said Schmidt.
The average temperature is rising since the 1880s. It is now more than 1 degree Celsius warmer (2 degrees Fahrenheit) as compared to the late 19th century.
Scientists suggest that there might be some uncertainties in the year-to-year global mean temperature difference because of the change in weather station locations and change in measurement practices. Even after taking that into account, 2019s global mean temperature is accurate to within 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit, with a 95% certainty level.
Reason behind temperature increase:
As you might expect, an increase in the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is the reason behind the increase. These emissions are mostly caused by the burning of fossil fuels in automobiles, industries and other human activities.
Transportation, electricity and industries were the three major contributors of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2017.
What is it causing?
Fires in Australia, Amazon forests and a record increase in the average ocean temperature are the most evident effects. Mass loss in Greenland and Antarctica is increasing the sea levels.
The Arctic region has warmed more than three times faster than the rest of the world since 1970.
Recent heatwaves in North Pacific and Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico caused major marine life loss and damage of $108 billion. Hurrican Florence in the Atlantic Ocean near the Carolinas caused 53 deaths and around $38 to $50 billion economic damage.
Since weather dynamics often affect regional temperatures, the increase in temperature might not be observed evenly at all the places on the Earth.
How the temperature is measured?
NASA takes inputs from more than 20,000 weather stations. The data received is analysed using an algorithm that also considers the spacing between the temperature stations and urban heat island effects that might affect the conclusion.