All the data points to one conclusion: 2018 was hotter than every single year between 1880 and 2014; only the three prior years were warmer than last year.
While last year was the fourth-warmest year on record, British meteorologists are predicting the next five years would be much hotter, maybe even record-breaking.
This is also seen as a critical threshold for climate change, as it represents the lower bound of the average temperature rise.
Trump has vowed to pull out of the 2015 Paris agreement forged by almost 200 countries, including the U.S. The pact sets a goal of keeping global warming "well below" 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit over pre-industrial levels, a threshold meant to avert the most devastating and irreversible effects of climate change.
The UK Met Office is going a step further, to look at the next five years, and they're confident that we're right in the middle of the hottest decade ever on record.
Each new year may not set a temperature record but the long-term warming "resembles riding up an escalator over time and jumping up and down while on that escalator", said Deke Arndt, chief of NOAA's climate monitoring division, referring to variables such as the El Niño pattern. It's part of a continued global warming trend.More news: Michelle Rodriguez dragged for defending Liam Neeson
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"We're no longer talking about a situation where global warming is something in the future", said Gavin A. Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the NASA group that conducted the analysis. Previous year saw a pair of devastating hurricanes hit the eastern USA, while record wildfires ravaged California.
In separate analyses of global temperatures, scientists from NASA, the United Kingdom Met Office and the World Meteorological Organizationoffsite link also reached the same heat ranking.
The average surface temperature was 1.0 degree Celsius above average in the pre-industrial era (1850-1900).
"That is not saying the Paris Agreement is done for. but it's a worrying sign", he added.
Earlier this month, Sputnik reported that Australia's current heatwave, with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees C in some areas, is expected to continue through April, according to the country's Bureau of Meteorology. These calculations produce the global average temperature deviations from the baseline period of 1951 to 1980.
In January, the same organization warned that levels of planet-warming carbon dioxide will rise by a near-record amount in 2019. The following year, 2017, is ranked as the second warmest.