Published: Mon, February 11, 2019
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Confirming Long-Term Trend, 2018 Was Fourth Warmest Year on Record

Confirming Long-Term Trend, 2018 Was Fourth Warmest Year on Record

Global temperatures in 2018 were 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit (0.83 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 1951 to 1980 mean, according to scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, an affiliate of Columbia University's Earth Institute.

Global temperatures in 2018 were 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit (0.83 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 1951 to 1980 mean, according to scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in NY.

The climate report is an annual summary of research compiled by scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The US temperature past year was the 14th-warmest on average, NOAA climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt said.

According to a study from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA, last year saw the Earth's fourth-highest global surface temperatures when compared to almost 138 years of records.

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".

The average global surface temperatures have risen about two degrees Fahrenheit since the 1880s.

The warming is driven largely by the continued emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by human activity, such as manufacturing, coal-fired power plant emissions, and deforestation.


"It's been hot", said Gavin Schmidt, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

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. That would be warmer than the past four years.

The past five years are the warmest years in modern record. Such cold weather has made it really hard for many to believe that global warming is real.

British meteorologists predict the next five years will be even hotter than 2018. It's easy, if someone is skeptical to look at a hot year and say it's meaningless, we've been here before.

NOAA notes that weather dynamics affect regional temperatures, so not every region experienced the same amount of warming.

The text written by the United States institutions also highlighted that much of Europe, New Zealand and Middle East regions, as well as Russian Federation, recorded higher temperatures on land, while areas of the South Pacific Ocean and the North and South Atlantic also suffered maximum temperatures in the sea surface.

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

"People place way too much emphasis on a single year, usually to re-enforce a story, or a narrative, they have in their mind, already", he said. "Greenhouse gas emission reduction and climate adaptation measures should be a top global priority". That's 1.42 degrees (0.79 Celsius) warmer than the 20th century average.

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