The last five years have been Earth’s warmest ever
Record-breaking: Earth’s global surface temperature last year was 0.83°C warmer than the 1951-1980 mean. That record was only topped in 2016, 2017, and 2015. The data shows that the last five years are collectively the warmest ever recorded, while 18 of the 19 hottest years have taken place since 2001.
Over the long term: Since 1880, the Earth has warmed up by about 1°C, a phenomenon driven largely by humans emitting CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
More to come: A separate report from the UK’s Met Office out today predicted that temperatures between now and 2023 are likely to be 1°C or more above pre-industrial levels. There’s a 10% chance we may briefly breach the 1.5°C mark in that time.
A reminder: A recent landmark climate report warned that we must keep global warming below 1.5°C rather than the previously agreed cap of 2°C to avoid extreme heat, drought, floods, and poverty. The report concluded we have 12 years to make the changes required.