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NASA confirms 2018 was officially Earth's fourth hottest year

09 February 2019

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a 2018 climate assessment Wednesday, and the temperatures continue to climb. 2018 proved that by setting the record as the Earth's fourth highest surface temperature in the nearly 140 years of recording these metrics.

According to NOAA, 2016 was the warmest year on record, followed by 2015 and 2017 in second and third place.

Specifically, NASA said global temperatures in 2018 were 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit above the average from 1951 to 1980.

Arndt says 2018 "was an exclamation point, I think, on a trend that we're seeing toward more big rain, particularly in the eastern United States".

An iceberg melts in the waters off Antarctica.

For years, climate change has been grossly ignored by President Trump, as well as Congress writ large.

"The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years".

"2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend", said Goddard Institute director Gavin Schmidt.

NASA's temperature analyses incorporate surface temperature measurements from 6,300 weather stations, ship- and buoy-based observations of sea surface temperatures, and temperature measurements from Antarctic research stations.

Using computer simulations, the British weather office forecast s that the next five years will average somewhere between 58.51 and 59.49 degrees (14.73 to 15.27 Celsius).

The U.S. temperature in 2018 was the 14th warmest on average, said NOAA climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt. Indeed, that natural variation is why climate scientists look primarily at temperature trends over long timescales and don't give too much significance to a single hot or cold year.

"The long-term temperature trend is far more important than the ranking of individual years, and that trend is an upward one", Petteri Taalas, secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization, told The Guardian.

Trump has vowed to pull out of the 2015 Paris agreement forged by almost 200 countries, including the U.S. The pact sets a goal of keeping global warming "well below" 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit over pre-industrial levels, a threshold meant to avert the most devastating and irreversible effects of climate change. That would be warmer than the last four years. Even an increase in 1.5 could be a great risk to the stability of the world.