2018 fourth warmest year on record: NASA, NOAA

Pablo Tucker
February 9, 2019

CNN reported that Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration collected independent data that dates back to 1884 and 1880 respectively to monitor global temperature. 2018 proved that by setting the record as the Earth's fourth highest surface temperature in the nearly 140 years of recording these metrics.

The UN's World Meterological Organisation said in November that 2018 was set to be the fourth warmest year in recorded history, stressing the urgent need for action to rein in runaway planetary warming.

Overall, the past five years have been the five warmest years since records began in the late 1800s, according to a report released Wednesday.

The participants will include Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and Deke Ardnt, chief of the global monitoring branch of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, NASA officials said in a statement.

Last year, the Earth was more than one degree Celsius higher (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) than the average temperature of the latter part of the 19th century.

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. "The long-term temperature trend is far more important than the ranking of individual years, and that trend is an upward one", said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

A total of 6,300 weather stations, ship and buoy observations of sea surface temperatures, and Antarctic research stations were used in NASA's analyses.

The data indicate that global warming shows no sign of stopping. 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. "2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend". Lower than normal temperatures are shown in blue. That would be warmer than the last four years. But in the contiguous 48 states, 2018 marked the 14th warmest on record.

But the US did get soaked in 2018, says Deke Arndt, a climate scientist with NOAA.

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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