High water was seen on the Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau in March of 2019. File photo.

2019 second hottest year on record

Last year’s river flooding among significant climate events
The world’s five warmest years have all occurred since 2015 with nine of the 10 warmest years occurring since 2005

Earth’s warming trend continued in 2019, making it the second-hottest year in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s, NOAA, 140-year climate record – just behind 2016.  

The world’s five warmest years have all occurred since 2015 with nine of the 10 warmest years occurring since 2005, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, NCEI.

The climate update was posted on NOAA’s website.

The update also featured a map which showed significant climate events which occurred during 2019.

One of those events was record flooding along the Mississippi, Missouri, Platte and Arkansas rivers in the United States from March through July.

The record flooding, which impacted Union County, was reported to be the result of ice jams, rapid melting of snow and heavy rainfall.

The very wet conditions along the rivers resulted in delayed planting of crops.

NOAA added that 2019 was also the 43rd consecutive year with global land and ocean temperatures, at least nominally, above average. 

The average temperature across the globe in 2019 was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average and just 0.07 of a degree F cooler than the 2016 record. 

Ocean heat content, which describes the amount of heat stored in the upper-levels of the ocean, was the highest ever recorded. High ocean-heat content can contribute to sea-level rise.

NASA scientists, who conducted a separate but similar analysis, concurred with NOAA’s ranking. NASA also found that 2010-2019 was the hottest decade ever recorded.

Scientists from the United Kingdom Met Office determined that 2019 was one of the top-three hottest years on record, and the World Meteorological Organization also ranked 2019 second warmest for the globe.

More NOAA findings for 2019

Polar sea ice coverage continued its downward trend in 2019. Both the Arctic and Antarctic oceans recorded their second-smallest average annual sea-ice coverage during the 1979-2019 period of record.

December 2019 had near-record warmth. The month was in fact Earth’s second-hottest December on record, logging an average temperature 1.89 degrees F above the 20th-century average. Only December 2015 was warmer.

Parts of central Europe, Asia, Australia, southern Africa (including the island of Madagascar), New Zealand, Alaska, Mexico and eastern South America had record-high average land temperatures in 2019.

The annual globally averaged sea surface temperature was the second highest on record at 1.39 degrees F above the 20th-century average and just behind 2016.

Northern Hemisphere snow cover was close to average in 2019, at 9.57 million square miles.

The Gazette-Democrat

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