Tuesday, 23 July, 2019

2018 was the fourth hottest year ever recorded

Earth’s long-term warming trend can be seen in this visualization of NASA’s global temperature record which shows how the planet’s temperatures are changing over time compared to a baseline average from 1951 to 1980. The record is shown as a runni Earth just experienced one of the warmest years on record
Sandra Phillips | 08 February, 2019, 18:14

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.

Given that we desperately want to avoid rising above that global average temperature to avoid climate catastrophe for millions - if not billions - of people, now is the time to take climate action seriously, and begin the rapid transition of the global economy over to a low-carbon one, that relies on green, renewable energy.

The average global temperature during 2018 was 1.42 degrees F above the 20th-century average. 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.

"The five warmest years have, in fact, been the last five years. The trend is going relentlessly up, and it will continue to do so", Potsdam Institute climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf said in an e-mail. Record levels of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, trap ever more heat.

According to NOAA, the JMA and the UK Met Office, the last five years, 2014-2018, are now considered to be the hottest five years in the record books.

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"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. NASA and NOAA analyzed the same data independently and came to the same conclusion.

The WMO said sharp temperatures also contributed to a number of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, droughts and flash flooding over various regions of the world. On average, there are 6.2 such events per year; in 2018, there were 14.

NASA announced today that 2018 was officially the 4th warmest year since the 1880s, with the fastest increase in warming found in the Arctic.

US President Donald Trump, who has cast doubt on mainstream climate science and promotes the coal industry, plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement.

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".

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