2019 was the second warmest year ever, Copernicus survey says

Researchers say 2019 is the second warmest ever recorded, and the last five years are the warmest five ever recorded. Photo by Alexis/Pixabay
Researchers say 2019 is the second warmest ever recorded, and the last five years are the warmest five ever recorded. Photo by Alexis/Pixabay

Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Last year was the second warmest ever recorded. The record, announced Thursday by the Copernicus Climate Change Service, or C3S, brought the streak of record-warm years to five in a row.

The C3S findings match predictions made by WMO and the Global Carbon Project late last year. Data compiled by the Global Carbon Project showed CO2 levels continued to rise in 2019, and WMO analysis suggested 2019 would be the second or third warmest on record.


Both C3S and the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, CAMS, which tracks CO2 levels in the atmosphere, combine a multitude of data sources to model the daily weather in locations across the globe each day for the last several decades.

"These observations come from a variety of platforms or instruments, from weather stations to weather balloons and satellites," according to C3S.

But they provide an incomplete picture of global weather and climate. To complete the picture, scientists use a unique processing technique called "reanalysis" to stitch together a complete, hour-by-hour simulation of weather all over the globe.

"Once stitched together, these pictures of global weather conditions and atmospheric composition provide a comprehensive historical record of the Earth's climate that can be used to monitor how fast it is changing," according to C3S.


When scientists ran the model for 2019, the 3D simulation showed last year was exceptionally warm -- the second warmest in recorded history. The model determined the average surface air temperature across the globe in 2019 was 0.6 degrees Celsius warmer than the 1981 to 2010 average, and just 0.04 degrees lower than it was in 2016, the warmest year on record.

The data also showed that 2019 was the warmest year on record for Europe.

Scientists responsible for implementing the unique C3S model claim their simulations are the most accurate they've been.

"The C3S temperature dataset for 2019 is the first complete set to be published including annual anomalies and globally averaged fields," Carlo Buontempo, C3S project head, said in a news release. "This is possible because we are an operational program, 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."

NOAA and NASA have yet to release data on last year's global temperature averages, but analysis by the two agencies showed several months last year were the hottest on record.

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