Last year was the fourth-warmest year on record—losing narrowly to 2015, 2016, and 2017—according to a Wednesday press release from NASA. “2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend,” Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in the release. The warmest year on record was 2016, clocking in at 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the mid-20th century mean, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. In comparison, 2018 global temperatures were 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the mean. The NOAA report details warming trends across the planet, with heating continuing to be strongest in the Arctic region, with continued loss of sea ice. In addition, mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets continued to contribute to sea-level rise. “The impacts of long-term global warming are already being felt—in coastal flooding, heat waves, intense precipitation and ecosystem change,” said Schmidt.
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