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2019 Temperature By the Numbers

2019 Temperature By the Numbers

The Year

2nd Hottest

2019
was the second-hottest year since modern record keeping began. NASA and the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration work
together to track temperatures around the world and study how they change from
year to year. For decades, the overall global temperature has been increasing.

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Over the long
term, world temperatures are warming, but each individual year is affected by
things like El Niño ocean patterns and specific weather events.

The global temperature is an average,
so not every place on Earth had its second-warmest year. For instance, the
continental U.S. had a cold October, but Alaska set records for high
temperatures. The U.S. was still warmer than average over the year.

Globally,
Earth’s temperature in 2019 was more than 2°F warmer
than the late 19th Century.

The
Record

140 years 

Since
1880, we can put together a consistent record of temperatures around the planet
and see that it was much colder in the late-19th century.
Before 1880, uncertainties in tracking global temperatures are larger.
Temperatures have increased even faster since the 1970s, the result of
increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

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10 years

The
last decade was the hottest decade on record.

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20,000 Individual
Observations

Scientists
from NASA use data from more than 20,000 weather stations and Antarctic
research stations, together with ship- and buoy-based observations of sea
surface temperatures to track global temperatures.

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The
Consequences

90%

As
Earth warms, polar
ice is melting at an accelerated rate.
The Arctic is warming even faster than the rest of the planet. This northern
summer, 90% of the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet melted.

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8 inches

Melting
ice raises sea levels around the world. While ice melts into the ocean, heat
also causes the water to expand.
Since 1880, sea levels globally have risen approximately 8 inches, although
regional rates of sea level rise can be even higher.

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100+ fires

As temperatures
increase, fire seasons burn hotter and longer. During June and July 2019, more
than 100 long-lived and intense wildfires burned north of the Arctic circle. This
year also saw intense, record-setting fires in Australia.

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46% increase in
CO2 levels

This
decades-long warming trend is the result of increasing greenhouse gases in the
atmosphere, released by human activities.

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