Se­cond warm­est year on record

The Peterborough Examiner - - CANADA & WORLD - ANDREW FREED­MAN

There is no pow­er­ful El Niño lurk­ing in the trop­i­cal Pa­cific Ocean to add ex­tra heat to the oceans and at­mos­phere, but the re­lent­lessly ac­cu­mu­lat­ing green­house gases in the at­mos­phere, plus nat­u­ral cli­mate vari­abil­ity, have helped to push 2019 to­ward record warmth any­way.

Through Septem­ber, which NOAA re­ported Wed­nes­day was the hottest such month on record glob­ally, the year so far ranks as the se­cond-warm­est since in­stru­ment records be­gan in the late 19th cen­tury. The odds now slightly fa­vor that 2019 will end up be­ing the se­cond-warm­est year, com­ing in be­hind 2016. How­ever, it’s pos­si­ble it will slip slightly in rank­ing to 3rd or 4th-warm­est, ac­cord­ing to NOAA pro­jec­tions.

Match­ing analy­ses by the Coper­ni­cus Cli­mate Change Ser­vice and NASA, NOAA found that Septem­ber fea­tured ex­cep­tional warmth world­wide, par­tic­u­larly in North Amer­ica and the North­ern Hemi­sphere over­all.

For the first nine months of the year, the av­er­age global land and ocean sur­face tem­per­a­ture was 1.69 de­grees above the 20th cen­tury av­er­age, which was 0.22 de­grees be­hind 2016, and just 0.02 de­grees above the third-warm­est year, which was set in 2017. All of the top 10 hottest years on record have oc­curred since 2005, with the ex­cep­tion of one — 1998 — when an un­usu­ally in­tense El Niño pro­vided a ma­jor nat­u­ral boost.

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