Global Climate Report, 2019

NOAA, 2020

 

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Global Climate Reports give a general, data-based overview on the state of the climate for each year. They are intended to give a snapshot of what the climate looked like for each year, as well as place current observations in a historical context. To do this, the NOAA compiles and summarizes data from meteorological centres around the world. For 2019, data are reported for temperature, precipitation, and ocean heat content. 

 

First, 2019 was an abnormally hot year. Average ocean temperature was 0.77 C above historical average, while average temperature on land was 1.42 C, on average, above normal. Overall, 2019 brought a global average temperature almost a full degree warmer than the average of the last 140 years, ranking it as the second hottest year on record, behind 2016. As far as regional effects go, North America was the only continent to have 2019 not listed among its three hottest recorded years. South America experienced severe heat waves, while Europe set several record high temperatures across the continent. Meanwhile, Africa and Asia witnessed annual average temperatures of 1.33 and 1.68 degrees, respectively, above the mean from 1910-2000. Finally, Australia had its warmest year on record, with intense heat waves surpassing historical maximum temperatures. 

 

As far as precipitation goes, some areas experienced abnormally high levels while others had a historically dry year. The atlantic coast of North America was battered with severe tropical storms, which led to devastating cultural and economic consequences. Precipitation records were set across South America as well as southern Europe, while northern European countries experienced drier than average conditions. In Africa, several intense cyclones brought torrential rains and high winds to the eastern coast, bringing flooding and landslides to Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawe, and other countries. Meanwhile, Australia experienced its driest year on record, which, in concurrence with record setting temperatures, provided the conditions for the devastating wildfire season in the late months of 2019. 

 

The last metric analyzed by the NOAA in this report is ocean heat content. Oceans absorb about 90% of excess heat in the atmosphere and thus their temperature change is an important indicator of global warming. 2019 set a record for heat content in the upper 2000 metres of the world’s oceans. Perhaps this is unsurprising, as ocean heat content has been rapidly rising since the 1970’s - strikingly, the last 10 years have seen the 10 highest ocean heat content levels, with the 5 highest occuring in the past five years. This is an unprecedented rate of warming, and the report acknowledges that there is no other possible source for this except for an increase in heat trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gasses. 

 

2019 was a turbulent year in many ways, and it seems that the climate was no different. By reviewing the annual state of the climate, the NOAA offers a unique chance to look at regional and global trends, and compare current observations to historical ones. With respect to climate change, these reports give a clear view of how quickly and drastically our planet is changing. 

Find the full report here.

 

References


1. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. State of the climate: Global climate report for annual 2019. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2020). Available from: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201913

About Us

Shake Up The Establishment is a youth-led, registered (#1190975-4) national non-partisan non-profit organization that operates within the geographical confines of what is currently known as "Canada", but what is referred to by its First Peoples, as Turtle Island. Indigenous peoples have inhabited Turtle Island for over 10,000 years, and were the sole inhabitants less than 500 years ago. We acknowledge that our address resides on Treaty 3 land, and is the traditional territory of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas Peoples. Turtle Island is still home to many Indigenous peoples and we at SUTE are thankful to be able to live, learn and work on this territory, whilst continuing to create meaningful change for the climate justice movement. We are aware that our actions as an organization and the work we put out have an impact on our land, and on all that inhabit it. We are humbled to be able to follow the lead of centuries long Indigenous-led efforts towards the protection and stewardship of this land and the people that inhabit it. We are committed to continually evaluating & decolonizing our practices, and we do our best to incorporate the lived experiences of the land defenders and protectors within our work. We also want to honour the voices of Black, and non-Black people of colour within our work, and continually recognize their resiliency in the face of years of systemic oppression as imposed by the Canadian state.

 

Our enterprise is inclusive of all folx who call the geographical confines of what is currently known as Canada, home, and we celebrate the horizontal learning that comes from our diverse identities. As an organization, we will try our utmost best to ensure that only individuals with lived experiences are speaking on behalf of their communities, while still recognizing that Black, Indigenous and communities of colour as well as the LGBTQ2S+ community, are not a monolith. We firmly believe in accountability, and commit to being as transparent as possible in our activism space; to research our topics well, support and centre community care, and minimize any harm, no matter the intent. We have strict policies and procedures to uphold these tenets, and update these on a yearly (or as-needed) basis.

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