NASA confirms 2018 was officially Earth's fourth hottest year

As last year's horrifying IPCC report showed, the only way to avoid the worst consequences of climate change is to prevent these temperatures from rising to be two degrees celsius higher than pre-industrial averages.

The past five years have been the warmest in the modern record, the report said, and 2018's global temperatures were 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit, or 0.83 degrees Celsius, above the mean temperatures for 1951-1980. Normally, the yearly NASA and NOAA announcements come out around the same time as the others', but this year's reports were delayed due to the partial US government shutdown. But consider the context: The hottest five years on record are, in fact, the last five years.

Paris: The last four years were the hottest since global temperature records began, the United Nations confirmed on Wednesday in an analysis that it said was a "clear sign of continuing long-term climate change".

Schmidt said that 2018 was "quite clearly the fourth warmest year on record and it was probably warmer than many hundreds of years before that". This warming has been driven in large part by increased emissions into the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases caused by human activities, according to Schmidt.

NOAA and NASA each analyze temperature measurements from thousands of sites around the world, including weather stations on land and ships and buoys spread across the world's oceans. The NOAA data ranks 2018 as Australia's third warmest year since 1910.

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

"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. Such cold weather has made it really hard for many to believe that global warming is real.

Each new year may not set a temperature record but the long-term warming "resembles riding up an escalator over time and jumping up and down while on that escalator", said Deke Arndt, chief of NOAA's climate monitoring division, referring to variables such as the El Niño pattern.

Past year was also the third wettest on record in the US.

Scientists believe that without a rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the warming trend will continue and the effects of climate change more severe.

Despite worldwide efforts, planet-warming emissions are trending upward.

  • Joey Payne