Was the Fourth-Warmest Year on Record

2018 was one of the hottest years on record — and this year could be even hotter

2018 Fourth Hottest Year On Record, Says NASA

The world in 2018 was 1.5F (0.83C) warmer than the average set between 1951 and 1980, said NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The warmest year was 2016, followed by 2017, 2015, 2018 and 2014, according to NASA's rankings.

NASA and NOAA have announced that the global surface temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest since 1880. This, according to scientists, is a result of the continuing warming trend caused by the excess emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

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"We're no longer talking about a situation where global warming is something in the future", said Gavin A. Schmidt, who is the director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

NASA's temperature analyses came from 6,300 weather stations, ship and buoy-based observations of sea surface temperatures, and temperature measurements from Antarctic research stations. From last year's devastating hurricanes and coastal floods to last week's polar vortex, scientists already have plenty of disastrous phenomena to hold up as immediately evident repercussions of manmade environmental damage. It is also linked the extremely cold temperatures the Midwest and Northeast experiences last week.

"There is a lot of variability in a system, but when you get a five-year average saying the same thing, you are beyond the variability component, and you can feel much more confident that what you're looking at is a signal", Abdalati said.

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If Toronto felt warmer than usual past year, it's because it was. It's part of a continued global warming trend.

NOAA notes that weather dynamics affect regional temperatures, so not every region experienced the same amount of warming. "The trend is going relentlessly up, and it will continue to do so", Potsdam Institute climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf said in an e-mail.

Previous year was also the third wettest on record in the US. "Greenhouse gas emission reduction and climate adaptation measures should be a top global priority". NOAA's analysis found 2018 global temperatures were 1.42 degrees Fahrenheit (0.79 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average.

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If a warming planet were an Olympic sport, fourth wouldn't make the podium. Hurricanes Florence and Michael and wildfires in the West accounted for $73 billion of that loss.

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