2019 was the second warmest year ever, and the weather was even more extreme: World Meteorological Organization

GENEVA (Reuters) – Last year was the second warmest year since records began, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Wednesday, warning of more extreme weather events such as the Australian bush fires in 2020 and beyond.

The data from the WMO in Geneva destroy several data sets, including those from NASA and the British Met Office. It showed that the global average temperature in 2019 was 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.

“Australia had its hottest and driest year in 2019 and was the scene of the massive bushfires that were so devastating to people and property, wildlife, ecosystems and the environment,” said WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas.

“Unfortunately, we expect a lot of extreme weather for 2020 and the coming decades, which will be caused by record levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

The hottest year since its inception was 2016, according to the WMO, as a strong El Nino event led to warming.

(Reporting by Emma Farge; Editor by Hugh Lawson)

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