2018 is on pace to be the 4th-hottest year on record

2 months 2 weeks 5 days ago Friday, July 27 2018 Jul 27, 2018 Friday, July 27, 2018 11:47:51 PM CDT July 27, 2018 in News
By: Eric Levenson and Brandon Miller, CNN

    (CNN) -- Sunburned? You're not the only one.

According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2018 is on pace to be the fourth hottest year on record. Only three other years have been hotter: 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The upward trend is not lost on experts, who say the rising temperature is a clear indicator of global warming.

"The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle," said Michael Mann, a climate scientist and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University.

"We are seeing them play out in real time in the form of unprecedented heat waves, floods, droughts and wildfires. And we've seen them all this summer," he said.

A consistent rise

Even more than weather extremes -- like droughts or flooding -- climate change is best exemplified by the consistent rise in temperatures year after year. Any single location can have higher or lower temperatures over the course of a day, month or year. But the warming of the planet is easiest to observe by measuring across global temperatures.

The cause of that climate change is the trapping of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere. That phenomenon, exacerbated by human industrialization, traps heat in the oceans and on land and raises the temperature of the entire globe.

Data from NOAA shows that the first half of 2018 was characterized by warmer to much-warmer-than-average conditions across the Earth's land and ocean surfaces.

Record heat was seen over parts of the Mediterranean Sea, New Zealand and areas across North America, Asia and Australia. At the other end of the climate spectrum, no land or ocean areas had record cold temperatures in that same January to June period.

A global map of temperatures, with red showing warm areas and blue showing colder ones, appears as a map full of pink and red spots.

One large expanse of Pacific Ocean water is depicted in light blue and represents below average temperatures. That is a result of La Niña, the name for the cyclical cooling of the water in the equatorial Pacific. La Niña would normally cool the planet more than what we have seen this year.

As a whole, land and ocean surfaces are currently 0.77 degrees Celsius higher than the 20th century average. The hottest year on record was 2016, followed by 2015 and 2017.

Temperature extremes

Extreme conditions are, individually, just a single data point. But taken together, the extreme high temperatures and conditions tell a story of increased effects from climate change, experts say.

"Cold and hot, wet and dry -- we experience natural weather conditions all the time," said Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University.

"But today, climate change is loading the dice against us, making certain types of extremes, such as heat waves and heavy rain events, much more frequent and more intense than they used to be," Hayhoe said.

Much of Europe has been baking under a massive high-pressure ridge that is allowing tropical heat to climb all the way to the Arctic and blocking cooling rainfalls from ending the stretch of hot weather.

Temperatures above 32 degrees Celsius extended to the northern reaches of Scandinavia, setting records in Sweden, Finland and Norway for stations above the Arctic Circle.

The result has been a string of unprecedented wildfires in Sweden that have prompted the country to request assistance from other nations such as Italy, with more resources to fight wildfires.

The drought is even visible from space. Satellite images of Europe taken on May 20 and July 26 show how large stretches of green vegetation have turned into dry brown areas.

The United Kingdom is off to its driest start to a summer, according to the Met Office, and it has been one of the hottest on record, coming in just 0.1 C behind the average temperature during the hottest summer on record in the UK, which averaged 21 C in 1976.

Certainly, droughts existed before human-caused climate change. But just this week, a report from the Environmental Audit Committee in the United Kingdom warned that deadly heat waves are projected to become a bigger problem going forward.

Meanwhile, countries as distant as Canada and Japan have experienced deadly heatwaves, South Africa is facing its worst drought in more than a century and the US is battling a series of fierce wildfires.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - The state Capitol building is set to receive interior upgrades after the Missouri Capitol Commission met with... More >>
19 minutes ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 7:38:00 AM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a suspect in two deadly St. Louis shootings has been linked to a third.... More >>
42 minutes ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 7:14:33 AM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — Joanne Garone Behnke has replayed every possible scenario in her mind a hundred times. ... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 8:44:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Columbia Public School's out-of-school suspension rates for black students is double the rate of out-of-school suspensions given to white... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 8:06:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(AP) - Two companies facing multiple lawsuits over a summer tourist boat accident in Missouri that killed 17 people have... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 7:24:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - A federal judge has dismissed adult film star Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump. Daniels... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 6:57:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
MEXICO - A Mexico teenager faces 27 counts of child sexual abuse. Probable cause documents allege 17-year-old Chandler Douse... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 6:39:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council is looking into a way to decrease oil and grease storage on city streets... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 6:35:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
FULTON - Two Columbia residents were taken into custody at a traffic stop Monday charged with the possession and distribution... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 5:27:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council is talking about building two roundabouts on Nifong Boulevard in an attempt to reduce... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 3:35:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - Former Senate Intelligence Committee staff member James Wolfe pleaded guilty Monday to one count of lying to the... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 3:31:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A walkway outside of the Royal Inn off I-70 showed signs of structural damage Monday afternoon and guests... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 2:58:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - It's been five days since Hurricane Michael decimated Mexico Beach, and dozens of residents are still nowhere to... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 2:30:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on fundraising in the Missouri U.S. Senate race (all times local): 3... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 1:52:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Gov. Mike Parson kicked off what he calls "Infrastructure Week" Monday morning at the Missouri Department of Conservation... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 1:26:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A federal judge says Missouri has violated the rights of people serving life in prison without parole for... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 11:35:48 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
MONITEAU COUNTY- A man was arrested and accused of trying to run over his girlfriend and son with a truck... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 11:28:00 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The Boone County Sheriff's Department is investigating a pair of armed robberies at convenience stores over the weekend. ... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 9:54:00 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 31°
8am 34°
9am 40°
10am 45°
11am 49°