The recent streak of record-breaking hot years is set to continue throughout the next decade. It is likely that every year from 2019 to 2028 will be one of the 10 warmest on record. “After the last five years, we’ve really separated ourselves from the past,” says Anthony Arguez at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina. “It looks pretty likely that we’re going to have a whole lot of top 10 years.”
Many recent years have been among the warmest we have seen, as the global climate heats up due to our greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, 2019 was the second warmest, according to NOAA and NASA. The hottest year on record was 2016.
This is in stark contrast to the early 2000s, when the warming slowed – although reports it had halted were false. Such slowdowns happen because of natural variations in global temperature, caused by weather phenomena like El Niño, which overlay the steady warming trend.