2018 fourth warmest year on record: NASA, NOAA

Earth’s long-term warming trend can be seen in this visualization of NASA’s global temperature record which shows how the planet’s temperatures are changing over time compared to a baseline average from 1951 to 1980. The record is shown as a runni

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. That temperature was topped only in 2016, 2017, and 2015.

"The impacts of long-term global warming are already being felt - in coastal flooding, heat waves, intense precipitation and ecosystem change".

An analysis of five worldwide datasets by the WMO showed that the global average surface temperature in 2018 was approximately 1° above the pre-industrial starting point.

Weather dynamics mean warming affects regions in different ways.

As parts of the mid-western United States were gripped by a "polar vortex" last week that saw temperatures plunge to lows of -64 degrees Fahrenheit (-53C), US President Donald Trump suggested that the cold weather front cast doubt over the veracity of climate change data.

If you spent much time outside last summer and thought that it wasn't that hot in past years, you were right.

Along with this, Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have also released new figures for global warming. Nine of the 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2005. In addition, mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets continued to contribute to sea level rise.

The British Met Office, which also contributes data to the WMO, said temperatures could rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, for instance, if a natural El Nino weather event adds a burst of heat.

Over the long term: Since 1880, Earth has warmed up by about 1 °C, a phenomenon driven largely by humans emitting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

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".

We're only in the second month of the year, however, by careful consideration and comparison with weather patterns from previous years, climate scientists can make a reasonably good prediction about how 2019 is going to turn out, at least with regards to global average temperatures. Taking this into account, NASA estimates that 2018's global mean change is accurate to within 0.1 degree Fahrenheit, with a 95 percent certainty level.

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