Earth’s Hottest Decade on Record Capped by Years of Storms and Wildfires

“As global warming intensified, people and ecosystems felt the climate changing, from the hurricane-ravaged coasts to the fast-warming Arctic.”

“Deadly heat waves, wildfires and widespread flooding in 2019 punctuated a decade of climate extremes that, by many scientific accounts, show global warming kicking into overdrive.

As the year drew to a close, scientists were confidently saying 2019 was Earth's second-warmest recorded year on record, capping the warmest decade. Eight of the 10 warmest years since measurements began occurred this decade, and the other two were only a few years earlier.

Arctic sea ice melted faster and took longer to form again in the fall. Big swaths of ocean remained record-warm nearly all year, in some regions spawning horrifically damaging tropical storms that surprised experts with their rapid intensification. Densely populated parts of Europe shattered temperature records amid heat waves blamed for hundreds of deaths, and a huge section of the U.S. breadbasket region was swamped for months by floodwater.”

Bob Berwyn reports for InsideClimate News December 18, 2019.