Last year, 2018 followed the pattern of higher-than-average annual temperatures, as the Earth experienced its fourth hottest year on the 139-year record, and meteorologists say the hot weather trend is set to continue.
The U.S. government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said 2018’s average global temperature was 14.69 degrees Celsius. That’s 0.79 Celsius warmer than the 20th century average.
The US agency, the United Kingdom Met Office and the World Meteorological Organisation analysed global temperatures in slightly different ways, but each came to the same conclusion: 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record behind 2016, 2015 and 2017 respectively.
— NASA GISS (@NASAGISS) February 6, 2019
The data means that the five warmest years in recorded history have been the last five, and that 18 of the 19 warmest years ever recorded have occurred since 2001.
“2015 was the first year that global annual average surface temperatures reached 1.0 °C above pre-industrial levels and the following three years have all remained close to this level,” Adam Scaife, head of Long-Range Prediction at the Met Office, said Wednesday in a news release. “The global average temperature between now and 2023 is predicted to remain high, potentially making the decade from 2014 the warmest in more than 150 years of records.”
Using computer simulations, the British weather office forecast s that the next five years will average somewhere between 14.73 to 15.27 C. That would be warmer than the last four years.