2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record

Federico Mansilla
Febrero 9, 2019

The year 2018 was the Earth's fourth-hottest year on record, continuing a decades-long progression of warming, with the past five years collectively the warmest on record, according to reports released Wednesday. On Wednesday it incorporated the final weeks of past year into its climate models and concluded that average global surface temperature in 2018 was 1 degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial baseline levels. 2015 (2nd-warmest) and 2017 (3rd-warmest) were hotter than 2018.

"Eighteen of the nineteen warmest years since record keeping began have occurred since 2001".

"You get ups and downs - years that are a little bit warmer, a little bit cooler - but the long-term underlying trend is very, very clear", said NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt, who worked on the space agency's analysis.

According to a news release, NOAA found that the average global temperature was 1.42 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average. "It's the long-term trends that are having impacts on ice, on severity of droughts, on heat waves, on sea level rise and wildfires". This warming has been driven in large part by increased emissions into the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

In 2015, nearly 200 governments adopted the Paris climate agreement to phase out the use of fossil fuels and limit the rise in temperatures between 1.5C to 2C, to avert "dangerous" man-made climate change. It was the fourth highest since 1880, the earliest year for which records are available.

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The records also show that the annual temperature of the Old Continent increased at an average rate of 0.12 Celsius degrees per decade since 1910, although it has nearly quadrupled to 0.43 Celsius since 1981.

Arndt says 2018 "was an exclamation point, I think, on a trend that we're seeing toward more big rain, particularly in the eastern United States".

In both data sets, the overall trend of global temperatures is rising. Lower than normal temperatures are shown in blue. The World Meteorological Organization? and the United Kingdom's Met Office? also found that 2018 was among the top four warmest years.

Results of the year's global temperature ranking are normally announced in January, but due to the effects of the government shutdown, federal scientists research for the analysis were postponed.

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