Last 4 years warmest on record

 

Last 4 years - warmest on record

 

In a clear sign of continuing long-term climate change associated with record atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 have been confirmed as the four warmest years on record.

 

the global average surface temperature in 2018 was approximately 1.0° Celsius (with a margin of error of ±0.13°C) above the pre-industrial baseline (1850-1900). It ranks as the fourth warmest year on record.

 

The year 2016, which was influenced by a strong El-Niño event, remains the warmest year on record (1.2°C above preindustrial baseline). Global average temperatures in 2017 and 2015 were both 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels. The latter two years are virtually indistinguishable.

 

The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years. The degree of warming during the past four years has been exceptional, both on land and in the ocean.

 

Extreme and high impact weather affected many countries and millions of people, with devastating repercussions for economies and ecosystems in 2018.

 

The globally averaged temperature in 2018 was about 0.38°C (±0.13°C) above the 1981-2010 long-term average (estimated at 14.3°C).

 

Australia had its warmest January on record, with heatwaves unprecedented in their scale and duration

 

Intense heatwaves are becoming more frequent as a result of climate change.

 

Extreme heat in the southern hemisphere contrasted with extreme cold in parts of North America in January.

 

The cold weather in the eastern United States certainly does not disprove climate change. The Arctic is warming at twice the global average. A large fraction of the ice in the region has melted.

 

A part of the cold anomalies at lower latitudes could be linked to the dramatic changes in the Arctic. What happens at the poles does not stay at the poles but influences weather and climate conditions in lower latitudes where hundreds of millions of people live.

 

WMO will issue its full Statement on the State of the Climate in 2018 in March.