2018 was fourth-hottest year on record

2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record

2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a 2018 climate assessment Wednesday, and the temperatures continue to climb.

The last five years were collectively the world's warmest on record, two of the largest US science agencies announced on Wednesday.

The world temperature in 2018 was the fourth hottest ever recorded, only next to 2016 (the warmest), 2015 and 2017, say the specialists of the National Administration of Aeronautics and Space (NASA).

The specialists explain that the temperature of 2018 in Europe was the highest recorded in the analyses of both institutions, with 1.78 Celsius degrees above the average.

NASA and NOAA climate scientists said even though 2018 was a tad cooler than the three previous years that was mostly due to random weather variations.

An iceberg melts in the waters off Antarctica.

Americans escaped the worst of it last year though; while the rest of the planet cooked, the USA experienced only its 14th-warmest year.

The obvious long-term trend of steady warming makes it easier to more accurately predict near future warming, said NASA chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt. The quickly rising temperatures over the past two decades cap a much longer warming trend documented by researchers and correspond with the scientific consensus that climate change is caused by human activity.

US President Donald Trump has taken little action to address global warming.

It was also an expensive year for natural disasters. Lower than normal temperatures are shown in blue.

Last year was also the third wettest on record in the U.S. Nine eastern states had their wettest years on record, "an exclamation point on a trend of big rain" in the age of climate change, Arndt said.

The World Meteorological Organization announced similar findings Wednesday.

The November report warned that climate change will intensify over the century without swift emissions cuts.

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.

Dr. Schmidt spoke of these markers not as cliffs that the world would plunge over, however, but part of a continuing slide toward increasing levels of harm.

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