This map made available by NASA in February 2019 shows global surface temperature anomalies for 2014-2018. Higher than normal temperatures are shown in red and lower than normal temperatures are shown in blue. Two U.S. agencies, the United Kingdom Met Office and the World Meteorological Organization analyzed global temperatures in slightly different ways, but each came to the same conclusion on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019: 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record behind 2016, 2015 and 2017. (Kathryn Mersmann/NASA - Scientific Visualization Studio via AP)

2018 was 4th warmest, but next 5 years could break records

The average temperature was 14.7 C, which is 1.42 degrees 0.8 C warmer than the 20th century average

While 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, British meteorologists are predicting the next five years will be much hotter, maybe even record-breaking.

Two U.S. agencies, the United Kingdom Met Office and the World Meteorological Organization analyzed global temperatures in slightly different ways, but each came to the same conclusion Wednesday: 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record behind 2016, 2015 and 2017.

The U.S. government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said 2018’s average temperature was 58.42 degrees (14.69 Celsius), which is 1.42 degrees (0.79 Celsius) warmer than the 20th century average. Much of Europe had its warmest years on record. Records go back to 1880.

READ MORE: B.C. man captures moment comet smashes into super blood wolf moon

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

“Never mind the little wiggles from year to year. The trend is going relentlessly up, and it will continue to do so,” Potsdam Institute climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf said in an email. “Those who live in denial of this fact are in denial of physics.”

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). That would be warmer than the last four years.

Outside scientists, such as Natalie Mahowald of Cornell University, said the forecast is consistent with what researchers know about warming and natural variability.

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 U.S. temperature in 2018 was the 14th warmest on average, said NOAA climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt.

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.

There were 14 weather and climate disasters that cost more than $1 billion, for a total of $91 billion, Arndt said. At least 247 people died in those disasters. That’s the fourth-highest number of billion-dollar disasters and the fourth-highest dollar amount, taking inflation into account. The damage included Hurricane Michael’s $25 billion tally and $24 billion each from Hurricane Florence and the western wildfires.

READ MORE: Climate change doubled risk of B.C.’s record-setting 2017 wildfires

___

Seth Borenstein, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Terrace councillors consider court watch committee to ‘create an extra level of accountability’

City staff are reaching out to Coast Mountain College about a pilot program

Council briefs: RCMP rural files on the rise

Summary of key discussions from the public council meeting July 27, 2020

Tahltan Nation closes hunting and recreational activity access points

The remote and vulnerable territory has limited medical capacity

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Most Read