What to Know
- NASA announced Wednesday that 2018 was the fourth warmest year since 1880.
- 2018 places fourth after 2016, 2017, and 2015.
- The past five years are collectively the hottest in the modern record.
NASA announced Wednesday that 2018 was the fourth warmest year since 1880.
2018 places fourth after 2016, 2017, and 2015—meaning the past five years are collectively the hottest in modern record.
“2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend,” said Gavin Schmidt, Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “The impacts of long-term global warming are already being felt — in coastal flooding, heat waves, intense precipitation and ecosystem change.”
New York City is feeling these effects—New Yorkers sweltered under multiple heat waves the summer of 2018. It was also one of the most humid summers on record, which caused the hottest days to feel even hotter.
This heat can be deadly. The city reports an average of 13 heat-stroke deaths and 115 heat-related deaths per year.
As for coastal flooding, a 2017 report predicted that sea-level rise will cause flood heights in New York to greatly increase, endangering waterfront neighbourhoods and a large portion of Lower Manhattan.
“Many of the extreme weather events are consistent with what we expect from a changing climate,” said Petteri Taalas, the Secretary-General of the World Meterological Organization, in a release confirming the last four years were the hottest on record. “This is a reality we need to face up to. Greenhouse gas emission reduction and climate adaptation measures should be a top global priority.”