2018 was Earth’s fourth hottest year, analysis finds

2018 was Earth’s fourth hottest year, analysis finds
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Earth’s average temperature fell slightly last year, but 2018 was still the fourth hottest year since records began, a new analysis found.

Berkeley Earth, a nonprofit science organization, said Earth’s average surface temperature last year was about 2.09 degrees Fahrenheit above the average temperature between 1850 to 1900.

The three hotter years were 2015, 2016 and 2017, the organization said. 2016 was the hottest year since records began, but that was fueled somewhat by an El Nino that year.

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“The slight decline in 2018 is likely to reflect short-term natural variability, but the overall pattern remains consistent with a long-term trend towards global warming,” the group said in its Thursday report.

It was the hottest year on record for about 4.3 percent of the world’s surface, including Antarctica and nations Italy, Austria, Slovakia and France.

The federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration usually release analyses each January of the previous year’s surface temperature and records.

But both of those agencies are closed due to the federal government shutdown and have not said when that information will be published.

Berkeley Earth forecast in Thursday’s report that 2019 will be warmer than 2018, but will not beat the 2016 record.