Mother Earth is heating up and, according to the world’s top scientists, the pattern is continuing.
In fact, independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), find that the planet’s global surface temperature in 2018 was the fourth warmest since 1880.
That means that temperatures in 2018 were warmer by 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit (0.83 degrees Celsius) than the 1951. What’s more, globally, the temperatures in 2018 trail only those of 2016, 2017 and 2015.
The sad news is that the past five years are, collectively, the warmest years in the modern record.
“2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend,” said GISS Director Gavin Schmidt.
From a broader perspective, the average global surface temperature has risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) since the 1880s. What’s more, this warming has been driven in large part by increased emissions into the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases caused by human activities, Schmidt noted.
These warming trends are strongest in the Arctic, where loss of sea ice continued to expand in 2018. Compounding the situation, massive loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are contributing to sea levels rising.
But, the sobering news doesn’t stop there: Increasing temperatures can also contribute to longer fire seasons. The devastation in California is a case in point
“The impacts of long-term global warming are already being felt — in coastal flooding, heat waves, intense precipitation and ecosystem change,” said Schmidt.