Confirming Long-Term Trend, 2018 Was Fourth Warmest Year on Record

NASA NOAA global temps 2017

Scientists at NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Wednesday announced that global temperatures in 2018 were the fourth hottest on record in the last 139 years.

The Earth's temperature in 2018 was more than one degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, above the average temperature of the late 19th century, when humans started pumping large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Nine of the 10 warmest years have been recorded since 2005, with the last five years comprising the five hottest.

"Twenty-eighteen is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend", Goddard Institute for Space Studies Director Gavin Schmidt said in a statement.

Global temperatures averaged 1.49 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1951-1980 average according to NASA data, while NOAA showed 1.42F above the 1901-2000 average.

The year just past also saw 14 weather and climate related disasters with losses of $1 billion or more, which totaled about $91 billion in damages.

"The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years".

Patrick Verkooijen, head of the Global Centre on Adaptation in the Netherlands, told Reuters that the WMO report showed "climate change is not a distant phenomenon but is here right now".

NASA and NOAA independently monitor the Earth's surface temperatures and changes based on observations of both land areas and oceans, using a network of satellites scattered in Earth orbit.

In addition to the temperature records, the US suffered $91 billion in direct losses from extreme weather events in 2018, the fourth most since 1980, Ardnt said. Indeed, that natural variation is why climate scientists look primarily at temperature trends over long timescales and don't give too much significance to a single hot or cold year. But in the contiguous 48 states, 2018 marked the 14th warmest on record.

Last year, 29 countries - including much of Europe and the Middle East - and the continent of Antarctica had their hottest years on record, said Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist with the nonprofit research organization.

The 2018 global temperature reports were originally scheduled for release in mid-January, but they were delayed because the 35-day partial government shutdown prevented government scientists from finalizing their calculations.

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