According to a report, there is around 85% chance that this year will end as the second hottest ranking.
This year is increasingly likely to be the second or third hottest calendar year on the planet since the collection of modern temperature data began in 1880, according to data released this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
This reflects the increasing effect of long-term global warming caused by humans, and is especially important because of the absence of strong El Nino in the tropical Pacific Ocean this year. Such events are usually associated with the hottest years, because they increase global ocean temperatures and add large amounts of heat to the atmosphere throughout the Pacific Ocean, the largest in the world.
According to a new report released Monday, there is an 85% chance that this year will end up ranking as the second warmest in the NOAA data set, with the possibility that it slipped to No. 3. Overall, even so, it is almost certain (greater than 99% chance) that 2019 will end up being the top-five-hottest year for the world.
NOAA found that the average global land and sea surface temperature for October was 1.76 degrees (0.98 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average, only 0.11 degrees below the October warming record set for the year 2015.
Remarkably, the 10 warmest Octobers have occurred since 2003, and the warmest five months of that kind have occurred since 2015.
October 2019 is the 43rd October which is warmer than the 20th century average, and 418 months are successively warmer than the average. This means that anyone under the age of 38 never passes a year cooler than the global average.
So far this year, global land and sea temperatures have reached 1.69 degrees (0.94 Celsius) above the 20th century average, only 0.16 degrees cooler than the hottest year-to-date record, set at 2016, discovered by NOAA.
Other agencies tracking global temperatures may rank 2019 slightly differently from NOAA, although their overall data tends to be similar. NASA, for example, interpolates temperatures in the Arctic that are sparse data by assuming that temperatures in the entire region are the same as their closest observation location. NOAA, on the other hand, left portions of the North Pole from the data.
Considering the Arctic is heating more than double the pace of the entire world, this means that NOAA data may be a slight underestimation of global temperatures, although it won't be much.
In an illustration of the differences that can occur between monitoring agencies, the European Union Copernicus Climate Change Service places October as the hottest month on Earth, slightly out of October 2016. NASA and NOAA, on the other hand, rank second in the October list. .
Copernicus uses computer modeling data to monitor planetary climate at almost the same time, compared to surface weather stations that are relied on by NASA and NOAA, which tend to be prone to biases involving precise siting, and other problems. However, both agencies are working to adjust their records to eliminate the problem.
Ultimately, what matters is long-term trends over the years to decades, and it shows the sharp and clear spike that scientists have shown can only be explained by the increasing amount of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere.
Human activities, namely burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil for energy, are the main contributors to greenhouse gases.
According to NOAA, warm October temperature records exist in all parts of the North and West Pacific Ocean, northeastern Canada, and are scattered in all parts of the South Atlantic Ocean, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Indian Ocean and South America.
The only region with a cold record for the month was the U.S. west, where most of the Rockies are on a cold record for that month. Interestingly, despite the absence of an El Niño statement in the tropical Pacific, global average sea surface temperature ranks the second hottest this month, running less than a tenth of a degree behind the 2016 record, when there was an intense El Niño event.
The ocean absorbs most of the additional heat pumped into the climate system due to a buildup of greenhouse gases, with the heat content measured below the surface reaching record levels.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)
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