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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Hoff

The warmest decade on record

2018 global temperature data: higher than average (1951–1980) temperatures are shown in red, lower than normal temperatures are in blue. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

“The decade that just ended is clearly the warmest decade on record.” That’s NASA and NOAA’s analysis of global temperatures. GISS Director Gavin Schmidt added, “Every decade since the 1960s clearly has been warmer than the one before.”

NASA’s temperature analyses incorporate surface temperature measurements from more than 20,000 weather stations, ship- and buoy-based observations of sea surface temperatures, and temperature measurements from Antarctic research stations.

The facts speak for themselves: NOAA’s analysis found 2019 global temperatures were 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit (0.95 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average. In Alaska, 2019 was the warmest year on record.

NASA concludes that rising temperatures in the atmosphere and ocean are contributing to increases in extreme events such as heat waves, wildfires, intense precipitation

We know what we have to do: limit carbon emissions. Stop burning carbon for fuel. Force transportation into cleaner, more efficient technologies. Preserve our forests and glaciers. Limit our population growth.

The time to do it is now. 

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