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expert reaction to 2019 confirmed as 2nd hottest year on record

Research, published by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), reports on global temperature trends.


Dr Colin Morice of the Met Office Hadley Centre said:

“Our collective global temperature figures agree that 2019 joins the other years from 2015 as the five warmest years on record.

“Each decade from the 1980s has been successively warmer than all the decades that came before. 2019 concludes the warmest ‘cardinal’ decade (those spanning years ending 0-9) in records that stretch back to the mid-19th century.

“While we expect global mean temperatures to continue to rise in general, we don’t expect to see year-on-year increases because of the influence of natural variability in the climate system.”


Prof Chris Rapley, Professor of Climate Science at University College London (UCL), said:

“This is not so much a record as a broken record.

“The message repeats with grim regularity.  Yet the pace and scale of action to address climate change remain muted and far from the need.

“We see powerful individuals and groups doubling down on denying the ever-clearer reality.

“Of all the follies that humans have indulged in, damaging our life support system surely tops the list?!”


Bob Ward, policy and communications director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said:

“These figures show that the rise in global mean surface temperature has now exceeded 1 Celsius degree.

“If we look at all the impacts around the world that are now occurring as a result of this warming, it is obvious that we are not succeeding in preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, which was the main goal of the original 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. We should also recognise that even if we succeed in limiting warming to 1.5 Celsius degrees, this would not be a “safe” level of warming for the world.

“Therefore we must focus on halting global warming as soon as possible by cutting annual global emissions of greenhouse gases to net zero. We can and must reach net zero in a way that promotes higher living standards and greater well-being around the world. We know that the transition to a net zero economy is the growth story of the 21st century, full of innovation, creativity and opportunity. This is the fundamental task that all countries face ahead of the critical United Nations climate change summit in Glasgow in November.”


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