NASA confirms 2018 was officially Earth's fourth hottest year

NASA confirms 2018 was officially Earth's fourth hottest year

According to NASA and NOAA, last year's global surface temperature was almost one degree Celsius hotter than average.

NASA registers 2018 "global temperatures" at 1.5 degrees F (0.83 degrees C) warmer than their average, while NOAA recorded "global land and ocean surfaces" 1.42 degrees F (0.79 degrees C) above the 20th century average. 2016 now ranks as the hottest year on record, with 2017 coming in second and 2015 third.

The last five years have been the hottest on record.

"2015 was the first year that global annual average surface temperatures reached 1.0 °C above pre-industrial levels and the following three years have all remained close to this level", Adam Scaife, head of Long-Range Prediction at the Met Office, said Wednesday in a news release.

Sadly, the increasingly warm temperatures are being caused by human activity due to the growing numbers of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane.

"The impacts of long-term global warming are already being felt - in coastal flooding, heat waves, intense precipitation and ecosystem change", Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in a statement.

NASA's data takes temperatures from 6,300 weather stations along with ship and buoy-based observations of sea surface temperatures along with measurements from Antarctic research stations. That would be warmer than the past four years. NOAA and NASA noted that sea surface temperatures were also increasing.

The Earth experienced its fourth-hottest year in more than 136 years in 2018.

The past five years are the warmest years in modern record. We're no longer talking about a situation where global warming is something in the future. NASA and NOAA analyzed the same data independently and came to the same conclusion.

Because weather station locations and measurement practices change over time, the interpretation of specific year-to-year global mean temperature differences has some uncertainties.

"Many of the extreme weather events are consistent with what we expect from a changing climate", he said.

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

WMO also released a report on Wednesday that the globally averaged temperature in 2018 was about 0.38 degrees Celsius above the 1981 to 2010 long-term average. Hurricanes Florence and Michael and wildfires in the West accounted for $73 billion of that loss.

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