2018 was fourth warmest year on record says NASA

Olive Hawkins
February 11, 2019

It's easy, if someone is skeptical to look at a hot year and say it's meaningless, we've been here before. "We are seeing more and more warming that is happening at a faster and faster rate".

They also report that during 2018 the global temperature was 0.83 Celsius degrees above the 20th century average and that ninth of the 10 warmest years occurred since 2005. 2018 proved that by setting the record as the Earth's fourth highest surface temperature in the nearly 140 years of recording these metrics.

It was also an expensive year for natural disasters.

"It's been hot", said Gavin Schmidt, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). The world needs to halve its greenhouse gas emissions by the 2030s to avoid breaching limits set out in the Paris climate agreement, the United Nations warned previous year, at a time when global emissions show no sign of decline. 2016, boosted by a strong El Nino that normally tips the mercury northwards, remains the hottest year on record.

This line plot shows yearly temperature anomalies from 1880 to 2018, with respect to the 1951-1980 mean, as recorded by NASA, NOAA, the Japan Meteorological Agency, the Berkeley Earth research group, and the Met Office Hadley Centre (UK).

On Wednesday, NOAA also issued their own analysis of the economic impact of global warming.

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"There was no Greenland and sea level was about 25 meters higher". But it was short-lived, and the rest of the country has been unusually warm, which has kept the national average well above normal for January.

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

"The key issues in reducing emissions are moving towards renewable fuels for electricity, moving away from internal combustion engines for transport, sequestering carbon more efficiently in agriculture, making better decisions about how we organise our world so that we don't need so much energy", Schmidt said.

NASA adds that temperatures do vary by region. "That's a clear upward signal". "You do tend to see some bouncing up and down superimposed upon a long-term trend", Deke Arndt, who leads global monitoring at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, said during the news conference.

As last year's horrifying IPCC report showed, the only way to avoid the worst consequences of climate change is to prevent these temperatures from rising to be two degrees celsius higher than pre-industrial averages. That would be warmer than the past four years.

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