2019 was the second-hottest year ever, closing out the warmest decade

HENRY FOUNTAIN and NADJA POPOVICH / NY TIMES – The past decade was the hottest on record, government researchers announced on Wednesday, the latest sign of global warming’s grip on the planet. And 2019 was the second-warmest year ever, they said, just shy of the record set in 2016.

Analyses by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that global average surface temperatures last year were nearly 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the average from the middle of last century, caused in large part by emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases from the burning of fossil fuels. That much warming means the world is far from meeting goals set to combat climate change.

“These trends are the footprints of human activity stomping on the atmosphere,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which conducted the NASA analysis. “We know that this has been driven by human activities” …

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