Extreme Temperature Diary-Saturday January 18th, 2020/ Main Topic: Climate Central’s 2019 Global Temperature Assessment

Saturday January 18th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Climate Central’s 2019 Global Temperature Assessment

Dear Diary. If you are a climate geek like me this is your post. Climate Central came out this week with their 2019 assessment, which is full of statistics pointing to alarming global warming trends. I just hope that it’s not too late to right the climate ship, which is sailing into dangerous water. Otherwise, we are just counting the gallons of water coming into the Titanic.

The most glaring statistic to me from 2019 was that we are now at +1.2C above preindustrial conditions. We have very precious wiggle room to get our carbon pollution act together since I know now that barring an uptick in volcanic activity we will be near that first line in the sand (+1.5C) in just ten years.

Here is that Climate Central Summary:

2019 in Review: Global Temperature Rankings

Jan 15, 2020

NOAA and NASA’s global temperature data is in, naming 2019 the 2nd hottest year on Earth since records began and making the 2010s the hottest decade on record.

Top 10 Warmest Years on Record

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The global numbers are in, and 2019 was the 2nd warmest year on record—wrapping up the hottest decade ever recorded. The past five years have been the hottest five on record for the second year running. 

The past five years have been the hottest five on record for the second year running

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The 2016 Paris Agreement set a commitment to keep the global average temperature well below 2°C (3.6 °F) above pre-industrial levels. In order to examine 2019 global temperatures in the context of this goal, we compare them to an earlier 1880-1910 baseline. While it’s important to note that a warming world will have year-to-year variations due to natural variability (so not every year will be warmer than the one before) 2019 was 1.22°C (2.19°F) above the pre-industrial baseline temperature.

Global Temps Map

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Seemingly small increases in long-term average temperatures lead to a rise in the number of extremely hot days. Heat waves in June and July toppled many all-time high temperature records across Europe, with July 2019 being declared the hottest month ever recorded on earth. This kind of record-breaking heat poses substantial risks to human health—particularly to the most vulnerable members of society. A recent study found that summer heatwaves resulted in almost 900 extra deaths in England alone.

Warmer temperatures can have a range of other impacts, such as melting ice, extreme flooding and drought. Higher temperatures can also increase the risk of wildfires, which flared up across the globe from closer to home in Alaska and California, to Siberia and Indonesia. Australia experienced its hottest and driest year on record, contributing to the devastating wildfires. Estimates of the area burned vary from 15 million to 27 million acres.

Global: Decades of Warming (Updated)

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To keep warming below 2°C will necessitate a global effort to drastically reduce emissions. The IPCC  report stated that to limit warming to 1.5°C would require roughly halving emissions by 2030. Leaving behind the warmest decade on record reminds us of the challenge ahead, but also of the opportunity in the years to come.

METHODOLOGY: Calculations of average annual global temperature are performed independently at NASA and NOAA. Small differences in their calculations arise as NASA’s calculations are extrapolated to account for polar locations with poor station coverage, while NOAA relies more heavily on the polar station data. Climate Central compares temperatures to an earlier 1880-1910 baseline to assess warming during the industrial era.

Related Media

2019 in Review: U.S. Climate Rankings

2019 in Review: U.S. Climate Rankings

Jan 8, 2020

NOAA released the U.S. climate data for 2019. It was the second-wettest year on record with temperatures above average, wrapping up the warmest decade on record.

Recent Heat Records, Global and Local

Recent Heat Records, Global and Local

Aug 15, 2019

July was the globe’s hottest month in recorded history—the latest data point in an irrefutable warming trend that’s being felt both globally and locally.

Here is that climate and weather news section from Saturday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)

And this morning:

(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”

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