2018 was fourth hottest year on record due to global warming

Firefighter Jose Corona sprays water as flames from the Camp fire consume a home in Magalia California in November 2018

ASSOCIATED PRESS Firefighter Jose Corona sprays water as flames from the Camp fire consume a home in Magalia California in November 2018

Earth's higher-than-average global surface temperatures in 2018 resulted in the year being named the fourth warmest on record, according to independent analyses released by two USA agencies Wednesday.

"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", Adam Scaife, head of Long-Range Prediction at the Met Office, said Wednesday in a news release.

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.

CNN notes that the past three years have each set a record for the number of natural disasters hitting the USA that caused more than $1 billion in damage. Nine of the 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2005.

The records have all been tallied and all the major player are in agreement: Earth just went through its fourth hottest year on record, and it's only going to get hotter in the years to come.

Last year was the fourth-hottest year ever recorded, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, which means that the past five years have been the five warmest years in the modern record.

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"2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend", said GISS Director Gavin Schmidt. Due to slight variations in their data, NASA and Berkeley Earth both have 2010 in 5th place, with 2014 following up in 6th.

The WMO said heightened temperatures also contributed to a number of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, droughts and flash flooding. The warming trends are most evident in the Arctic, NASA said. The Paris pact responded to a 1992 United Nations treaty under which all governments agreed to avert "dangerous" man-made climate change.

Warming trends are strongest in the Arctic region, where 2018 saw the continued loss of sea ice.

He did not mention climate change in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

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

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