The five years from 2015-2019 are going to be the warmest five year period on record according to the World Meteorological Association (WMO) which comes as no surprise given the “symptoms” we have experienced during this period, including sea-level rise, ice loss, and extreme weather. This grim news that climate change is accelerating was made public this week in New York in order to motivate action at the United Nations Summit and beyond. The WMO report on The Global Climate in 2015-2019 — states that the global average temperature has increased by 1.1°C since the pre-industrial period, and by 0.2°C compared to 2011-2015, and that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere have also increased to record levels, locking in the warming trend for generations to come.
Why This Matters: Yet another wake-up call — this one by the global weather scientists — that re-affirms what we have been hearing in a drip by drip fashion in recent months. How many second warmest month, or warmest low temperature, or highest flood level records do we need to set to have this news sink in? Many people believe that communicating climate change through the “frame” of the weather is one way to gain support from the skeptical public for action on climate change. Just continuing to report the weather facts — which are hard to change or deny — does seem to help. Which is why it is good that NOAA continues to issue monthly updates about how this year’s weather compares to the past.