The past decade has been the hottest on record, the UN said on Wednesday warning that the higher temperatures were expected to fuel numerous extreme weather events in 2020 and beyond.
The World Meteorological Organization, which based its findings on analysis of leading international datasets, said increases in global temperatures had already had dire consequences, pointing to retreating ice, record sea levels, increasing ocean heat and acidification, and extreme weather.
WMO said its research also confirmed data released by the European Union's climate monitor last week showing that 2019 was the second hottest year on record, after 2016.
The year 2020 has started out where 2019 left off - with high-impact weather and climate-related events, WMO chief Petteri Taalas said in a statement, pointing in particular to the devastating bushfires that have been raging in Australia for months.
The bushfires, unprecedented in their duration and intensity, have claimed 28 lives and highlighted the type of disasters that scientists say the world will increasingly face due to global warming.
The fires have already destroyed more than 2,000 homes and burnt 10 million hectares of land - an area larger than South Korea or Portugal.
Unfortunately, we expect to see much extreme weather throughout 2020 and the coming decades, fuelled by record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, Taalas said.