Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Sci-tech | By April Francis

2018 Was Fourth Hottest Year On Record — NOAA/NASA

2018 Was Fourth Hottest Year On Record — NOAA/NASA

Nine of the hottest years have occurred since 2005, with the past five years being the warmest on record.

Last year was the fourth warmest year on record and the outlook is for more sizzling heat approaching levels that most view as risky for humankind on the Earth, a United Nations report has shown. While the East Coast received record precipitation during 2018, the majority of the Midwest and West regions saw a dry year.

"2015 was the first year that global annual average surface temperatures reached 1.0°C above pre-industrial levels and the following three years have all remained close to this level", Professor Adam Scaife, the UK Met Office's Head of Long-Range Prediction, said in a press release.

Not content with being the fourth-hottest year since 1880, when it first became possible to collect reliable and consistent global temperatures, in the U.S. 2018 was the wettest year in 35 years and the third wettest since precipitation records began in 1895.

This is also seen as a critical threshold for climate change, as it represents the lower bound of the average temperature rise.

The years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 have been confirmed as the four warmest years on record, according to data gathered by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

"The long-term temperature trend is far more important than the ranking of individual years, and that trend is an upward one", the UN's World Mereological Organisation (WMO) secretary-general Petteri Taalas said in a statement. 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, according to Schmidt.

Scientists found that the Arctic has experienced the most warming, contributing to global sea level rise. In addition, mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets continued to contribute to sea level rise.

According to NASA, its temperature analyses incorporates surface temperature measurements from 6,300 weather stations, ship- and buoy-based observations of sea surface temperatures, and temperature measurements from Antarctic research stations.

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