2018 was fourth-hottest recorded year, NOAA and NASA say

2018 was fourth-hottest recorded year, NOAA and NASA say

Last year was the fourth-hottest on record by average temperature, according to new reports from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).

Only 2015, 2016 and 2017 were hotter than 2018 in terms of average temperature, the organizations said, according to the NOAA, which added on Wednesday that nine of the 10 warmest years have occurred since 2005.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration reached the same results in its study.


“2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend,” Goddard Institute for Space Studies Director Gavin Schmidt said in a statement.

“The impacts of long-term global warming are already being felt - in coastal flooding, heat waves, intense precipitation and ecosystem change,” he added.

NASA said in a presentation that the results confirm the agency's belief that climate change is being driven by human emissions.

“The key message is that the planet is warming. The long-term trends are extremely robust,” Schmidt said. “And our understanding of why those trends are occurring is also very robust, it’s because of the increases in greenhouse gases that we put into the atmosphere over the last hundred years.”

The reports from NOAA and NASA are also confirmed by results from Berkeley Earth, a nonprofit science organization. 

In addition to record-high temperatures, the U.S. also suffered from 14 weather and climate disasters totaling over $1 billion in damages, NOAA said. At least 247 lives were lost in those disasters, with many more injured.

Last year was also the third-wettest in the United States. The contiguous U.S. averaged nearly 35 inches of rain.

— Updated 3:53 p.m.