Was the Fourth Hottest Year on Record in almost 140 Years

Katie Ramirez
February 11, 2019

In Phoenix, 2018 was the seventh-warmest year on record, according to the National Weather Service. The WMO said heightened temperatures also contributed to a number of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, droughts and flash flooding. Scientists have linked climate change to more destructive hurricanes like Michael and Florence previous year, and have found links to such phenomena as the polar vortex, which last week delivered bone-chilling blasts to the American Midwest and Northeast.

Arizona topped the list with it second-hottest year on record, followed by New Mexico and California with their third- and fourth-warmest years, respectively.

"We're no longer talking about a situation where global warming is something in the future", said Gavin A. Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the NASA group that conducted the analysis.

He added he was "very concerned with what is going on in the Arctic", which is heating up at around double the rate of the global average.

On Wednesday it incorporated the final weeks of past year into its climate models and concluded that average global surface temperature in 2018 was 1 degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial baseline levels.

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. "The jumping up and down can be driven by internal processes".

A still image pauses the onslaught of warmer temperatures in NASA and NOAA data summarizing global climate changes. "The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years". NASA and NOAA analyzed the same data independently and came to the same conclusion.

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Last year, 29 countries - including much of Europe and the Middle East - and the continent of Antarctica had their hottest years on record, said Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist with the nonprofit research organization. "This isthe reality we need to face up to", Taalas said. Record levels of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, trap ever more heat.

The top three hottest years on record were 2015, 2016, and 2017.

US President Donald Trump has taken little action to address global warming.

The relentless warming has highlighted the steep challenges faced by governments if they want to avoid the worst effects of climate change. "It's because of the increases of greenhouse gases".

Trump has vowed to pull out of the 2015 Paris agreement forged by almost 200 countries, including the U.S. The pact sets a goal of keeping global warming "well below" 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit over pre-industrial levels, a threshold meant to avert the most devastating and irreversible effects of climate change. The Met Office said there is a 10 per cent chance of at least one year between 2019 and 2023 temporarily exceeding 1.5C.

"The planet is warming".

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