Fourth Warmest Year in Continued Warming Trend, According to NASA, NOAA

The last five years have been the hottest on record.                  NASA screenshot by CNET

The last five years have been the hottest on record. NASA screenshot by CNET

In a separate report, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies said global temperatures were 1.5 degrees above the 1951 to 1980 mean, also the fourth highest going back to 1880. The report coming from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). 2016 now ranks as the hottest year on record, with 2017 coming in second and 2015 third.

Global temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest on record, USA government scientists have confirmed, adding to a stretch of five years that are now collectively the hottest period since modern measurements began. Scientists say that if the world is to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, global temperatures must not rise by more than two degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels.

It was largely driven by increased emissions into the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases caused by human activities, according to Schmidt.

The obvious long-term trend of steady warming makes it easier to more accurately predict near future warming, said NASA chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt.

NASA clarified that it gathers its measurements from "6,300 weather stations, ship- and buoy-based observations of sea surface temperatures, and temperature measurements from Antarctic research stations". The World Meteorological Organization? and the United Kingdom's Met Office? also found that 2018 was among the top four warmest years. Nine of the hottest years have occurred since 2005, with the past five years being the warmest on record. It's part of a continued global warming trend.




"There is a lot of variability in a system, but when you get a five-year average saying the same thing, you are beyond the variability component, and you can feel much more confident that what you're looking at is a signal", Abdalati said.

Taalas said the extreme weather events of the past year have had "devastating repercussions" for people, economies and ecosystems.

"The planet is warming".

It appears highly likely, at least from today's perspective, that that line will be crossed, despite the fact that more than 190 countries have signed the Paris climate agreement, which sets targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Hurricane Michael was responsible for $25 billion in damages, Hurricane Florence cost an additional $24 billion and the stretch of wildfires that scorched the western us cost another $24 billion.

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