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Last decade was warmest since Industrial Revolution, report warns

The decade up to 2019 was the warmest since the Industrial Revolution, according to a bleak new assessment of the state of the global climate.

Last year was one of the three warmest years since 1850, the 30th Bulletin of The American Meteorological Society said.

Meanwhile, every decade since 1980 has been warmer than the last.

The data shows the average global temperature between 2010 and 2019 was 0.2C warmer than the first decade of the 21st Century.

The report, which has been peer-reviewed, was written by 528 experts in 61 countries.

Robert Dunn from the Met Office, who led the editing team on one of the chapters, said: “The global climate is continuing to change rapidly.

“This millennium has been warmer than any comparable period since the Industrial Revolution.

“And, of course, the rise in global temperature is linked to another climate indicator: the ongoing rise in emissions of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane.”

Another devastating finding is that last year was the 32nd consecutive year of ice loss from mountain glaciers.

It was also a year marked by extreme wildfires in Australia, the Amazon, Indonesia and Siberia.

The report comes as the UK experienced a run of six days with temperatures of 34C (93.2F) or above for the first time since 1961, according to the Met Office.

Gareth Redmond-King, head of climate change at WWF, said the heatwave is “just another reminder that we are running out of time to act on the climate crisis”.

“It’s no surprise that the last decade was the hottest on record as the climate crisis makes extreme weather events both harsher and more likely,” he said.

“The government has committed to end the UK’s domestic contribution to climate change by 2050 but is yet to back up these promises with the action and resource needed.”

The UN climate change conference which was due to be held in Glasgow in November has been delayed by 12 months, but scientists say action must not be postponed.

Professor Simon Lewis, chair of global changes science at University College London, said the long-term climate trends are “crystal clear”.

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“Climate change is motoring along, fuelled by carbon dioxide emissions,” he warned.

“Humanity faces serious peril if we do not stabilise the climate by getting fossil fuel emissions to net zero, fast.”

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