Was Earth's 4th-Hottest Year On Record, Scientists Say

09 February, 2019, 21:38 | Author: Darnell Taylor

While 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, British meteorologists are predicting the next five years will be much hotter, maybe even record-breaking.

From 1981 onward, the average increase in global temperature doubled from 0.13 degrees Fahrenheit (0.07 degrees Celsius) per decade since 1880, to 0.31 degrees Fahrenheit / 0.17 degrees Celsius, with the hottest four years to date recorded as 2016, 2017, 2015, and 2018, according to the analysis.

Overall, the past five years have been the five warmest years since records began in the late 1800s, according to a report released Wednesday.

"2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend", NASA's GISS director Gavin Schmidt said.

The new report said the world was on track to have average global temperatures rise to 3 degrees Celsius by 2100, as record levels of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, is trapping more heat in the Earth's atmosphere.

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.

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In order to avoid the worst effects of climate change, global temperatures cannot exceed more than two degrees 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". Indeed, that natural variation is why climate scientists look primarily at temperature trends over long timescales and don't give too much significance to a single hot or cold year.

The NASA and NOAA reports are consistent with analyses by other governments, including the Japan Meteorological Agency and the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service, both of which also concluded that 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record.

But the US did get soaked in 2018, says Deke Arndt, a climate scientist with NOAA.

In fact, 2018 was the wettest year in the last 35 years.

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. The release of the NASA/NOAA report was delayed by the USA government shutdown.

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