Last year was fourth hottest on record

A polar bear tests the strength of thinning ice in the Arctic

A polar bear tests the strength of thinning ice in the Arctic Credit AFP

NASA, NOAA, JMA, Berkeley Earth and the UK Met Office all agree: 2018 was the fourth hottest year in the record books.

NOAA scientists used much of the same raw temperature data, but with a different baseline period and different interpolation into the Earth's polar and other data poor regions. This, according to scientists, is a result of the continuing warming trend caused by the excess emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. NOAA and NASA noted that sea surface temperatures were also increasing. And according to their study, the past five years are, collectively, the warmest years in the modern record.

"If you smooth out these year-to-year variations and look at the big picture, the overall trend in the past few decades is one of accelerating change", said Alex Hall, who directs the Center for Climate Science at UCLA and was not involved in either government analysis.

"2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend", says Gavin Schmidt, Director of the GISS.

In addition to the temperature records, the US suffered $91 billion in direct losses from extreme weather events in 2018, the fourth most since 1980, Ardnt said. Record-Breaking Heat The report published by NASA confirmed that 2018 was 0.83 degrees Celsius or 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the temperature recorded from 1951 to 1980.

If Toronto felt warmer than usual previous year, it's because it was.

Taalas said that the deadly cold snap was entirely consistent with the effects of man made climate change, including the warming of the poles.

Record levels of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, trap ever more heat.

Schmidt said that without an El Niño, 2017 would be the warmest year on record, with 2018 the third warmest. The Bureau of Meteorology said there has been an increase in fire weather and the length of the fire season.

In addition to the loss of sea ice, ice continues to melt from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, according to Schmidt.

"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.

The data released by WMO confirm the urgency of addressing climate action - as emphasized by the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

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