Last year was hot. So hot, that it was second in recorded temperature only to 2016, which included a strong El Nino pattern, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The group expects more warming, which it said would lead to more extreme weather events like the brush fires in Australia.
The data from the Geneva-based WMO crunches several datasets including from NASA and the UK Met Office. It showed that the average global temperature in 2019 was 1.1 degree Celsius (34°F) above pre-industrial levels.
WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said:
“Australia had its hottest, driest year on record in 2019, setting the scene for the massive bushfires which were so devastating to people and property, wildlife, ecosystems and the environment. Unfortunately, we expect to see much extreme weather throughout 2020 and the coming decades, fueled by record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”
The WMO doesn’t mention that heat didn’t cause the brush fires, they have been attributed to dry lightning, unintentional sparks from people, and even intentional settings. Dry conditions make burns more favorable, but didn’t start them.
As for hotter in the future, perhaps. But the most accurate temperature model, the Russian INM-CM4, shows much smaller temperature gains we commonly hear.