2018 set to be fourth hottest year on record, according to new report
The four warmest years on record have all been in the past four years.
A new report from the World Meteorological Organisation illustrates that 2018 is the fourth hottest year on record, with ocean heat at record levels and sea levels continuing to rise.
The WMO findings underline that the long-term warming trend of recent years has continued, with the 20 warmest years on record coming in the past 22 years and the top four in the past four years.
Other tell-tale signs of climate change, including sea level rise, ocean heat and acidification and sea-ice and glacier melt, are highly evident, while extreme weather has had a devastating impact on all continents.
The WMO report shows that the global average temperature for the first 10 months of 2018 was nearly 1°C above the pre-industrial baseline (1850-1900).
This data is based on five independently maintained global temperature data sets.
“We are not on track to meet climate change targets and rein in temperature increases,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
“Greenhouse gas concentrations are once again at record levels and if the current trend continues we may see temperature increases 3-5°C by the end of the century. If we exploit all known fossil fuel resources, the temperature rise will be considerably higher,” he said.
“It is worth repeating once again that we are the first generation to fully understand climate change and the last generation to be able to do something about it,” Taalas added.
UNICEF, meanwhile, noted the generational impact associated with the latest information.
"Children are the least responsible for climate change but they are already suffering its impacts the most," they said in a statement.
"Climate action cannot wait."
A UK assessment published on 26 November warned summer temperatures could be up to 5.4°C hotter and summer rainfall could decrease by up to 47% by 2070, while sea levels in London could rise by 1.15m by 2100.
You can read the report in full here.