Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Was Earth's Fourth-Hottest Year On Record, Scientists Say

Was Earth's Fourth-Hottest Year On Record, Scientists Say

On Wednesday it incorporated the final weeks of previous year into its climate models and concluded that average global surface temperature in 2018 was 1 degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial baseline levels.

The 2018 temperatures rank just behind those of 2016, 2017 and 2015, and 2014 was the fifth warmest.

"The five warmest years have, in fact, been the last five years" said Gavin A. Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the New York Times reports.

The specialists explain that the temperature of 2018 in Europe was the highest recorded in the analyses of both institutions, with 1.78 Celsius degrees above the average. The long-term trends are extremely robust.

For years, climate change has been grossly ignored by President Trump, as well as Congress writ large.

Since the 1880s, the average global surface temperature has risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius).

Patrick Verkooijen, head of the Global Centre on Adaptation in the Netherlands, told Reuters that the WMO report showed "climate change is not a distant phenomenon but is here right now".

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.

In addition to the temperature records, the USA suffered $91 billion in direct losses from extreme weather events in 2018, the fourth most since 1980, Ardnt said.

The human toll also was high, with 247 killed and many more injured in weather and climate disasters.

The report also noted that the United States experienced 14 natural disasters in 2018 that each caused economic losses of over one billion dollars. The World Meteorological Organization? and the United Kingdom's Met Office? also found that 2018 was among the top four warmest years.

Trump has vowed to pull out of the 2015 Paris agreement forged by almost 200 countries, including the U.S. The pact sets a goal of keeping global warming "well below" 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit over pre-industrial levels, a threshold meant to avert the most devastating and irreversible effects of climate change. The release of the NASA/NOAA report was delayed by the U.S. government shutdown.

Dr. Schmidt spoke of these markers not as cliffs that the world would plunge over, however, but part of a continuing slide toward increasing levels of harm.

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