NOAA scientists used much of the same raw temperature data, but with a different baseline period and different interpolation into the Earth's polar and other data poor regions. The IPCC report that found that limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require "rapid and far-reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities" and that global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide would need to fall by about 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching "net zero" around 2050.
"It's been hot", said Gavin Schmidt, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). The announcement was delayed several weeks due to the government shutdown that resulted in many NOAA and NASA employees being furloughed.
According to NOAA, 2018 was Arizona's second warmest year ever recorded, one of a dozen states with similarly high temperature averages. It's easy, if someone is skeptical to look at a hot year and say it's meaningless, we've been here before.
2015 (2nd-warmest) and 2017 (3rd-warmest) were hotter than 2018. Scientists say that if the world is to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, global temperatures must not rise by more than 2 degrees Celsius compared with preindustrial levels.
Global temperatures now stand 1 degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, above the average temperature of the late 19th century.
Temperatures in both 2016 and 2015 were lifted by an El Niño, a natural event which can disrupt weather patterns worldwide every few years and releases heat from the tropical Pacific Ocean into the atmosphere.
Trailing behind 1973 and 1983, the contiguous US' national average for precipitation previous year was 34.63 inches, reports the NOAA. "Predictions now suggest around a 10 per cent chance of at least one year between 2019 and 2023 temporarily exceeding 1.5°C".
The average global surface temperatures have risen about two degrees Fahrenheit since the 1880s.
"The cold weather in the eastern United States certainly does not disprove climate change", said Mr Taalas. Instead, his administration is working to unravel Obama-era environmental rules in favor of policies that would allow more greenhouse gas emissions from cars, trucks and coal-fired power plants.
Trump has vowed to pull out of the 2015 Paris agreement forged by almost 200 countries, including the U.S. The pact sets a goal of keeping global warming "well below" 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit over pre-industrial levels, a threshold meant to avert the most devastating and irreversible effects of climate change.
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