Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Science | By Michele Flores

2018 was the fourth hottest year ever recorded

2018 was the fourth hottest year ever recorded

CNN reported that Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration collected independent data that dates back to 1884 and 1880 respectively to monitor global temperature.

Record-breaking: The NASA study found that Earth's global surface temperature a year ago was 0.83 °C warmer than the 1951-1980 mean.

NASA registers 2018 "global temperatures" at 1.5 degrees F (0.83 degrees C) warmer than their average, while NOAA recorded "global land and ocean surfaces" 1.42 degrees F (0.79 degrees C) above the 20th century average.

And according to their study, the past five years are, collectively, the warmest years in the modern record.

"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 warming trends are most evident in the Arctic, NASA said.

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Increasing temperatures can "contribute to longer fire seasons and some extreme weather events", Nasa also warned.

The polar vortex event last month that saw record lows across the American Midwestern states, leading to several deaths, is a result of a weakening of the jet stream and the kind of weather event that scientists fear will become more frequent as the temperature in the Arctic continues to rise.

A United Nations report a year ago said the world is likely to breach 1.5C sometime between 2030 and 2052 on current trends, triggering ever more heatwaves, powerful storms, droughts, mudslides, extinctions and rising sea levels.

To combat warming, nearly 200 governments adopted the Paris climate agreement in 2015 to phase out the use of fossil fuels and limit the rise in temperatures to 2C above pre-industrial times while "pursuing efforts" for 1.5 degrees Celsius. In addition, mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets continued to contribute to sea level rise. This is in part due, according to NASA, from increased emissions in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases created by human activity. That means 2018 was the fourth hottest year recorded in over 100 years.

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