Second Hottest Year on Record
According to independent assessments of global temperatures in 2019 by NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the World Meteorological Organization, Berkeley Earth, and the U.K. Met Office, last year was the second hottest in 140 years of data. The record in 2016 came along with one of the most intense El Niño events ever measured. The decade beginning in 2010 was the hottest ever, and it's the fourth in a row to set a new high. The five warmest years occurred since 2015, and 2020 is expected to be similar to 2019. Under normal conditions, without warming, scientists would expect that 2.5 percent of the Earth would experience “very high” temperatures in a given year. In 2019, 52 percent of the Earth did, and almost 10 percent of the planet set local heat records for average annual temperature; no place broke a cold record.