It is now official. After a delay of weeks due to the US government shutdown, NOAA have published the full final details for 2018 on 6th February – “Last year was one of the warmest years ever recorded.”
Interestingly enough, that last sentence above is now a familiar turn of phrase and no longer a shock. In 2018 when looking back at 2017 it was true. Then back in 2017 when looking back at 2016 it was true, and so it has become the new norm.
This should not ever be permitted to lull us into complacency, but instead must inspire meaningful action with even more urgency. Ignoring this and doing nothing will lead to utterly devastating consequences. That thought perhaps merits me the tag “Alarmist”, as if I was shouting “Fire” in a packed theatre and sparking fear for no good reason. The truth of the matter is that the basis for shouting loudly is based upon facts and robust evidence. Shouting “Fire” in a packed theatre is a rather good idea if the theatre is actually on fire.
Highlights from the NOAA 2018 report
2018 was the 4th warmest year on record globally.
With precise records going back over 137 years the ongoing warming trend continues, and so 2018 is the 4th warmest ever recorded.
This is not one lone isolated conclusion. In a separate analyses of global temperatures, scientists from NASA, the United Kingdom Met Office and the World Meteorological Organizationalso reached the same heat ranking.
- The average global temperature during 2018 was 1.42 degrees F above the 20th-century average. This marks the 42nd consecutive year (since 1977) with an above-average global temperature. Nine of the 10 warmest years have occurred since 2005, with the last five years comprising the five hottest.
- The globally averaged sea surface temperature was 1.19 degrees F above average, while the land surface temperature was 2.02 degrees above average, both the fourth highest on record.
- Much of Europe, New Zealand and parts of the Middle East and Russia had record high land temperatures. Parts of the southern Pacific Ocean and parts of the north and south Atlantic Ocean also tallied record-high sea-surface temperatures.
2018 Brought 14 distinct Billion Dollar Weather Disasters in the US
The United States experienced 14 distinct billion-dollar weather disasters in 2018, which resulted in the deaths of at least 247 people and approximately $91 billion in damage
- In 2018, the U.S. experienced 14 weather and climate disasters, each with losses exceeding $1 billion and all totaling around $91 billion in damages. Both the number of events and their cumulative cost ranked fourth highest since records began in 1980.
- Topping the list were Hurricane Michael, which caused $25 billion in damages, followed by the western U.S. wildfires and Hurricane Florence, which each caused $24 billion in damages.
- Most important was the human toll: At least 247 people died and many more were injured by the 14 disasters.
Significant Global Climate 2018 Highlights
Links To Details and Further Reading
Major Media outlets have (quite rightly) picked this up and reported it all. For example CNN reported: Earth just experienced one of the warmest years on record…
…If it seems like you’ve heard this before, you have: Eighteen of the hottest 19 years have occurred since 2001….
… “2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend,” according to Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies….
The NOAA 2018 Global report can be found here.
The NOAA 2018 US report can be found here.
Potsdam Institute climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf …
“The trend is going relentlessly up, and it will continue to do so…those who live in denial of this fact are in denial of physics.”