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2018 was the fourth-hottest year in history, according to Nasa

11 February 2019

We've known this is coming, but the latest annual report from NASA and NOAA has confirmed it: 2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record.

Record-breaking: The NASA study found that Earth's global surface temperature past year was 0.83 °C warmer than the 1951-1980 mean.

"The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years". The hottest year on record was 2016 when the average global surface temperature was 0.99 degrees Celsius or 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the mid-20th century mean.

Since then, there's been a clear and sharp upward trend - in fact, NOAA says that every year since 1977 has had an above-average temperature. Mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets combined to add to sea level rise.

"The impacts of long-term global warming are already being felt - in coastal flooding, heatwaves, intense precipitation and ecosystem change", NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Director Gavin Schmidt detailed in the agency's release. "The global average temperature between now and 2023 is predicted to remain high, potentially making the decade from 2014 the warmest in more than 150 years of records".

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. The global surface temperature was almost 1 degree Celsius higher than average and it is because of global warming.

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A still image pauses the onslaught of warmer temperatures in NASA and NOAA data summarizing global climate changes.

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

Arndt says 2018 "was an exclamation point, I think, on a trend that we're seeing toward more big rain, particularly in the eastern United States". Taalas said that the deadly cold snap was entirely consistent with the effects of manmade climate change, including the warming of the poles.

Britain's Met Office on Wednesday warned the 1.5C temperature increase limit agreed in Paris, compared with a pre-industrial baseline, could start to be exceeded far sooner than many predicted.

NASA and NOAA climate scientists said even though 2018 was a tad cooler than the three previous years that's mostly due to random weather variations.

2018 was the fourth-hottest year in history, according to Nasa