Was Earth's Fourth-Hottest Year On Record, Scientists Say

2014- 2018 global temperatures GIF

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) announced today that 2018 was the fourth hottest year worldwide on record. 2018 proved that by setting the record as the Earth's fourth highest surface temperature in the nearly 140 years of recording these metrics.

The warmest year was 2016, followed by 2017, 2015, 2018 and 2014, according to NASA's rankings. Scientists say that if the world is to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, global temperatures must not rise by more than two degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels. The UN body also said that 2019 had picked up where 2018 left off, with Australia experiencing its warmest January on record.

An iceberg melts in the waters off Antarctica. The government's climate assessment lists all the natural disasters that incurred at least $1 billion in losses. It also said that the 20 warmest years in history all occurred within the last 22 years. But in the long-term, the two agencies strongly agree on the pace and trajectory of global warming.

The participants will include Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and Deke Ardnt, chief of the global monitoring branch of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, NASA officials said in a statement.

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Overall, global temperatures have risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) in the last 138 years.

NOAA and NASA each analyze temperature measurements from thousands of sites around the world, including weather stations on land and ships and buoys spread across the world's oceans. Higher than normal temperatures are shown in red. 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.

The November report warned that climate change will intensify over the century without swift emissions cuts. The release of the NASA/NOAA report was delayed by the U.S. government shutdown. According to NASA and NOAA, there were a total of 14 billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events in the U.S.in 2018 alone, costing the nation $91 billion in direct economic damages and resulting in 247 deaths.



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