Toronto's average temperature was 1.5°C warmer than normal in 2018

"According to our calculations, the Gulf of Mexico region had it's third warmest year on-record this year", said Deke Arndt, chief of the monitoring section of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.

NASA declared Wednesday that 2018 was the fourth-hottest year in 139 years of records as average global temperatures rose alongside surging fossil fuel emissions.

The last five years have been the hottest on record.

This is also seen as a critical threshold for climate change, as it represents the lower bound of the average temperature rise.

NOAA notes that weather dynamics affect regional temperatures, so not every region experienced the same amount of warming. But in the long-term, the two agencies strongly agree on the pace and trajectory of global warming. In addition, mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets continued to contribute to sea level rise.

"2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend", according to NASA's Gavin Schmidt, the director of the agency's Goddard Institute of Space Studies.

A 2018 NOAA map shows where average temperatures were higher than usual. The Bureau of Meteorology said there has been an increase in fire weather and the length of the fire season.

And, much of the US was warmer than usual, especially west of the Rocky Mountains. Noting "with concern" this data, which was first released in November 2018, Guterres said it confirms "the urgency of addressing climate action", and echoes the science presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its October 2018 special report on the impacts of a global warming of 1.5°C.

NASA clarified that it gathers its measurements from "6,300 weather stations, ship- and buoy-based observations of sea surface temperatures, and temperature measurements from Antarctic research stations". "This is the reality we need to face up to", Taalas said. It appears highly likely, at least from today's perspective, that the line will be crossed, despite the fact that 190 nations have signed the Paris climate agreement. These calculations produce the global average temperature deviations from the baseline period of 1951 to 1980.

The 2018 global temperature reports were originally scheduled for release in mid-January, but they were delayed because the 35-day partial government shutdown prevented government scientists from finalizing their calculations.

Those major disasters, plus other smaller-scale disasters, made 2018 the fourth-most costly year on-record.

Despite global efforts, planet-warming emissions are trending upward.

Vanessa Coleman

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