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The past year was the second hottest since the start of the industrial revolution, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said on Wednesday.

The global average temperature was 1.1 degrees higher than the average of the second half of the 19th century, according to the Geneva-based UN agency.

The 2019 heat level is second only to the record of 2016.

“On the current path of carbon dioxide emissions, we are heading towards a temperature increase of 3 to 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century,” WMO Chief, Petteri Taalas, said in a statement.

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries pledged to keep the temperature increase below 2 degrees, compared to pre-industrial levels.

The pact also set an ideal target of 1.5 degrees.

In addition to last year’s heat, 2019 saw retreating ice volumes, record sea levels and rising heat and acidity levels in the oceans, as well as extreme weather, according to the WMO.

“The year 2020 has started out where 2019 left off – with high-impact weather and climate-related events,” Taalas said, pointing to Australia’s current wildfires that came after the country experienced its hottest and driest year on record in 2019. (dpa/NAN)


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