Fourth Hottest Year On Record, Says NASA

People walking at the River Hongbao in the afternoon of Feb 6 2019. 2016 boosted by a strong El Nino that normally tips the mercury northwards remains the hottest year on record

Fourth Hottest Year On Record, Says NASA

According to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the global temperature for 2018 was 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the mean global temperature for the years 1951-1980. That puts us more than two-thirds of the way to the warming limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius that was set in the Paris climate agreement.

Moreover, 2015 was the first year when global annual average surface temperatures reached 1C above pre-industrial levels, and the following three years have all remained close to this level. 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.

Much of Europe had its warmest years on record.

Scientists believe that without a rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the warming trend will continue and the effects of climate change more severe.

Last year was the fourth warmest year on record and the outlook is for more sizzling heat approaching levels that most view as unsafe for humankind on the Earth, a United Nations report has shown. NASA and NOAA analyzed the same data independently and came to the same conclusion.

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

"The 14 events, in total, claimed at least 247 lives and cost $91 billion", NOAA said in a statement. "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. The Paris pact responded to a 1992 United Nations treaty under which all governments agreed to avert "dangerous" man-made climate change.

NBC reported that the polar regions experienced the strongest warm trends, resulting in the melting and shrinkage of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, as well as the continued loss of sea ice in the Arctic. He did not mention climate change in his State of the Union speech on Wednesday.

He called for more, greener investments, ranging from defences against rising seas to drought-resistant crops.

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