2018 was the warmest year for Europe

Global temperatures are one degree above pre-industrial levels for four consecutive years

In the period from 2014 to 2018, global temperatures reached a record high. Here are the changes compared to the long-term remedy © NASA / GISS
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The planetary heat wave remains: The year 2018 has set a new climate record for Europe: It was the warmest year since records began. Worldwide, the year 2018 is one of the four warmest years in the history of the weather, according to evaluations of NASA, NOAA and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). For the fourth time in a row, global temperatures reached 1 degree above pre-industrial levels.

Climate change continues unabated. Already in 2014, 2015, the El Nino year 2016, and also the following year 2017 reached record values. And in 2018, too, many regions of the world created new climate caprioles. In Europe and much of the northern hemisphere, the summer was unusually dry and hot, and weather extremes such as droughts, heavy rain and floods were recurring all over the world.

The official record for 2018 confirms that the last year was again marked by global warming. NASA researchers, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have evaluated weather data from thousands of stations, survey buoys and research vessels.

Evolution of global mean temperatures relative to preindustrial values ​​1850-1900. MetOffice

Globally, it was the fourth-longest year

The result: Globally, 2018 is the fourth warmest year since the beginning of the weather record after the previous years in 2015, 2016 and 2017. For the fourth time in a row, the global mean temperature reached a degree above the pre-industrial levels of 1850 until 1900. "This is another extremely warm year for 2018, which will continue the long-term warming trend, " says Gavin Schmidt of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The year 2018 is the 42nd year in which global land and ocean temperatures are above the 20th century average since 1977, this upward deviation is visible in the weather data, as the WMO reports. "The 20 hottest years of history have occurred in the last 22 years, " says WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. "The level of warming over the past four years has been extraordinary, both on land and in the oceans." Ad

Heiest year for Europe

For Europe, 2018 marks a new record: 2018 was the hottest year since weather records began. Temperatures were 1.78 degrees above the long-term average, as determined by NOOA. The rate of warming has nearly quadrupled from 0.12 degrees per decade at the beginning of the 20th century to 0.43 degrees per decade since 1981.

Also in parts of the Middle East, Russia and New Zealand, record highs were achieved in 2018. The same applies to parts of the South Pacific and the Northwest Pacific, but also of the Atlantic, as reported by the NOAA. In the Gulf of Mexico, sea temperatures reached the third highest level since records began. In the meantime, the temperatures of land and sea are rising by about 0.17 degrees per decade.

The UK MetOffice predicts that the decade from 2014 to 2023 could be the worst in history. It goes without saying that in the next few years a natural climate change could increase anthropogenic warming, as researchers found out before Klrzen.

From weather extremes

"But temperatures are just part of the story, " Taalas says. "Many countries and millions of people were hit by weather extremes in 2018, with devastating consequences for economies and ecosystems." Climate researchers attribute the more frequent and intensive weather extremes to, among others, the outlook atmosphere, but also changes in the global circulation such as the jet stream.

"Many of the recent extreme weather events are consistent with the belief that we expect a changing climate, " says Taalas. "That's a reality we have to face." Extreme heat waves will increase just as much as heavy rain and floods. The year 2019 also seems to confirm the trend towards more and more extreme weather: Australia has experienced the hottest January in its history and is suffering from a severe bush fire.

Carbon footprint for the year 2018. NASA / Goddard

Cole wave in North America fits into the picture

Even the extreme cold that set North America freezing in frost at the end of January 2019 fits into the picture, as Taalas emphasizes: "The cold weather in the eastern US does not contradict climate change, " said the WMO Secretary General. Because the Arctic warms twice as fast as the rest of the globe and these changes also affect the weather patterns of adjacent regions of the northern hemisphere.

"Part of the temperate cold anomalies may be associated with dramatic changes in the Arctic, " Taalas said. "What happens at the poles, just does not stay at the poles, but influences weather and climate even in lower latitudes, where hundreds of millions of people live."

Source: World Meteorological Organization (WMO), NASA, NOAA

- Nadja Podbregar