Science

Was the Fourth Hottest Year on Record in almost 140 Years

Was the Fourth Hottest Year on Record in almost 140 Years”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a 2018 climate assessment Wednesday, and the temperatures continue to climb. The last five years rank as the hottest on record globally-far and away hotter than previous years with temperatures running roughly 1 degree Celsius warmer than pre-industrial times. The last five years-from 2014 to 2018-are the warmest years ever recorded in the 139 years that NOAA has tracked global heat.

"Eighteen of the nineteen warmest years since record keeping began have occurred since 2001".

"The key message is that the planet is warming, " said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. It founds that 2018 global temperatures were 0.79 degrees Celsius above the 20th-century average. "It's the long-term trends that are having impacts on ice, on severity of droughts, on heat waves, on sea level rise and wildfires". According to scientific consensus, this warming has been driven in large part by increased emissions into the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases caused by human activities.

In 2015, nearly 200 governments adopted the Paris climate agreement to phase out the use of fossil fuels and limit the rise in temperatures between 1.5C to 2C, to avert "dangerous" man-made climate change.

NASA and NOAA independently monitor the Earth's surface temperatures and changes based on observations of both land areas and oceans, using a network of satellites scattered in Earth orbit. It was the fourth highest since 1880, the earliest year for which records are available.

Overall, global temperatures have risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) in the last 138 years. But in the long-term, the two agencies strongly agree on the pace and trajectory of global warming. "2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend".

The human toll also was high, with 247 killed and many more injured in weather and climate disasters.

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.

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



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