By Esther Nakkazi
The year, 2019, was the second warmest year globally ever recorded after 2016, the past five years have been the five warmest on record and 2010-2019 is the warmest decade on record says data released by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).
The temperature dataset provided by C3S shows that the global average surface air temperature for 2019 was 0.04 °C lower than in 2016, the warmest year on record.
“2019 has been another exceptionally warm year, in fact, the second warmest globally in our dataset, with many of the individual months breaking records”, says Carlo Buontempo, head of the C3S.
The C3S data also shows that the five warmest years on record have all occurred in the last 5 years, with 2019 coming in as the second warmest, 2019 was almost 0.6 °C warmer than the 1981-2010 average.
“These are unquestionably alarming signs. Seeing one or more months much warmer than the recent reference period can be disconcerting but does not as such represent a climate trend, as monthly temperature deviations vary, and some regions may show below-average conditions for a while,” said Jean-Noël Thépaut, Director of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Copernicus.
Together with the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), C3S also reported that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere continued to rise.
Their data provide the first complete, global picture of 2019 temperatures and CO2 levels. The results are in line with previous projections from WMO and the Global Carbon Project (GCP) for 2019.
The WMO estimated that 2019 was likely to be the 2nd or 3rd warmest year on record, while both WMO and the GCP indicated that atmospheric CO2concentrations had continued to increase.
C3S and CAMS are both implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Union. The services provide quality-assured data on 2019 temperatures and CO2 concentrations, among many other climate variables.
This helps policymakers, organizations, and individuals make informed choices about climate change mitigation and the quality of the air we breathe.
The average temperature of the last 5 years was between 1.1 and 1.2 °C higher than the pre-industrial level defined by the IPCC. Furthermore, according to satellite measurements of global atmospheric CO2 concentrations, CO2 continued to rise in 2019, increasing by 2.3 ± 0.8 ppm.
The C3S temperature dataset for 2019 is the first complete set to be published including annual anomalies and globally averaged fields.
“This is possible because we are an operational programme, processing millions of land, marine, airborne and satellite observations daily. A state-of-the-art computer model is used to bring all these observations together, in a similar way to how weather forecasting is carried out,”says Buontempo.
C3S produces data with full global coverage of temperature every day and publishes monthly and annual summaries based on this dataset that goes back to 1979.
“For determining possible long-term trends related to climate change, observations dating long into the past are invaluable. Therefore, we also compare our data with climate data dating back to the pre-industrial era to ascertain these long-term climate trends,” said Thépaut.
Copernicus is the European Union’s flagship Earth observation that operates through six thematic services: Atmosphere, Marine, Land, Climate Change, Security and Emergency. It delivers freely accessible operational data and services providing users with reliable and up-to-date information related to our planet and its environment.