Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Research | By Raquel Erickson

2018 temps were Earth's fourth-hottest ever

2018 temps were Earth's fourth-hottest ever

Global temperatures in 2018 were 0.83 degrees Celsius warmer than the 1951 to 1980, according to scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in NY.

The past four years - 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 - have been confirmed as the warmest years on record around the world, according to new research released by the UN's World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) on Thursday.

Much of Europe had its warmest years on record.

This story is developing.

The decade that began in 2014 will be the hottest run of years since records began in the early 19th century, as in the next five years we'll see a year in which the average global temperature rise could be greater than 1.5C compared to pre-industrial levels.

Continuing, Taalas said: "Temperatures are only part of the story". Taking this into account, NASA estimates that 2018's global mean change is accurate to within 0.1 degree Fahrenheit, with a 95 percent certainty level.

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

The United Kingdom Met Office, the U.K.'s weather service, said global temperatures over the next five years will average somewhere between 58.51 and 59.49 degrees Fahrenheit, or 14.73 to 15.27 Celsius. The United Nations defines the 1.5C Paris temperature target as a 30-year average, not a freak blip in a single year.

"About $73 billion of this total was attributable to three events: Hurricanes Michael ($25 billion) and Florence ($24 billion), and the complex of western wildfires ($24 billion)".

"What happens at the poles does not stay at the poles but influences weather and climate conditions in lower latitudes where hundreds of millions of people live". Record levels of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, trap ever more heat. "The trend is going relentlessly up, and it will continue to do so", Potsdam Institute climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf said in an e-mail. 2018 saw the 14th-highest mean temperature on record in the contiguous 48 states, and it was the third-wettest year for the area despite persistent drought in the southwest and the northern plains.

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