Earth could be headed for its warmest period on record

Firefighter Jose Corona sprays water as flames from the Camp fire consume a home in Magalia California in November 2018

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, along with the space agency NASA, released a report on Wednesday on last year's temperature data from around the world.

Previous year was the fourth-hottest globally since record keeping began in 1880, NASA and NOAA announced today (February 6) in a joint news conference. (The United States is still technically a party to the accord, although President Donald Trump has pledged to withdraw.) The warmest year was 2016, its record-setting temperature amplified by the Pacific Ocean phenomenon known as El Niño.

NASA, in a statement, said the past five years are, collectively, the warmest years in the modern record.

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The average global temperature during 2018 was 1.42 degrees F above the 20th-century average. "Greenhouse gas emission reduction and climate adaptation measures should be a top global priority".

"The long-term temperature trend is far more important than the ranking of individual years, and that trend is an upward one", said Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

After a three-year plateau, global carbon emissions increased 1.6 percent between 2016 and 2017, then jumped an additional 2.7 percent in 2018, according to estimates published last month by scientists at Stanford University and other research institutions. "The trend is going relentlessly up, and it will continue to do so", Potsdam Institute climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf said in an e-mail. The quickly rising temperatures over the past two decades cap a much longer warming trend documented by researchers and correspond with the scientific consensus that climate change is caused by human activity. 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. Eighteen of the hottest 19 years since 1880 have occurred since 2001.

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NASA added that the Arctic region experienced the strongest effects of the warming trends in 2018.

In addition to the temperature records, the US suffered $91 billion in direct losses from extreme weather events in 2018, the fourth most since 1980, Ardnt said.

The United Kingdom Met Office, the U.K.'s weather service, said global temperatures over the next five years will average somewhere between 58.51 and 59.49 degrees Fahrenheit, or 14.73 to 15.27 Celsius.

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