Earth just suffered through its 4th hottest year on record

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According to NOAA, the JMA and the UK Met Office, the last five years, 2014-2018, are now considered to be the hottest five years in the record books.

The new report said the world was on track to have average global temperatures rise to 3 degrees Celsius by 2100, as record levels of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, is trapping more heat in the Earth's atmosphere.

The latest figures mean 2018 ranks as the fourth-hottest year since modern record-keeping began in 1880. Nine of the hottest years have occurred since 2005, with the past five years being the warmest on record.

The average global temperature during 2018 was 1.42 degrees F above the 20th-century average.

Due to the dynamic character of global weather patterns, not every place of the Earth experiences the same levels of warming.

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NASA also found that the greatest warming trend overall was in the Arctic region, which has seen the continual loss of sea ice in recent years. That puts us more than two-thirds of the way to the warming limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius that was set in the Paris climate agreement.

All the results show the same "escalator-like" rise that scientists think is linked to the loss of sea ice, as well as an increase in extreme weather events around the world.

The British Met Office, which also contributes data to the WMO, said temperatures could rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial times, for instance if a natural El Nino weather event adds a burst of heat.

NASA's global temperature analyses use surface temperature recordings from 6,300 weather stations around the world, incorporating ship- and buoy-based measurements of ocean surface temperatures as well as measurements of surface temperatures from Antarctic research outposts.

We're only in the second month of the year, however, by careful consideration and comparison with weather patterns from previous years, climate scientists can make a reasonably good prediction about how 2019 is going to turn out, at least with regards to global average temperatures. While the East Coast received record precipitation during 2018, the majority of the Midwest and West regions saw a dry year.

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