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Climate Adaptation

Second Hottest Year on Record Capped Warmest-Ever Decade

Five research institutions say temperatures are rising along with fossil fuel pollution.

Firefighters work to extinguish a bushfire in Dargan, some 120 kilometres from Sydney in December. Australia had its hottest day on record last year. 

Firefighters work to extinguish a bushfire in Dargan, some 120 kilometres from Sydney in December. Australia had its hottest day on record last year. 

Photographer: SAEED KHAN/AFP
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The planet is warming faster than at any time in the history of civilization. 

Five major independent assessments of global temperatures in 2019 each concluded that last year was the second hottest in 140 years of data. The record in 2016 came along with one of the most intense El Nino events ever measured, which has the tendency to push up the average. This year attained the second highest reading without being juiced by major natural variability.