2018 the 4th warmest year on record globally, according to World Meteorological Organization

Past four years warmest on record globally

Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

ROANOKE, Va. – 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record globally, according to scientists at the World Meteorological Organization, NASA and the United Kingdom Met Office.

Records of this kind, according to NOAA, go back 139 years. This is different from paleoclimatic ice core records that go back way before that. The way this works is that ice cores are drilled into glaciers, in order to analyze the chemistry and climate of Earth in the past.

We are then able to see long-term trends in the global temperature, as opposed to just going back to the 1800s.

In a report published Wednesday by NOAA, the 2018 temperature averaged globally was 1.42°F above the 20th-century average. This makes the 42nd consecutive year of above average temperatures. Nine of the ten warmest years on record have all come since 2005. (For Roanoke, five of our top-10 warmest years have come since 2007.)

The report goes on to talk about the billions of dollars in damage and the lives lost, due to different weather and climate-related incidents. It also goes on to talk about how, in the U.S., the wetness outweighed the heat for many.

For us here at home, 20 different localities broke their wettest year on record. This includes areas like Roanoke, Lynchburg and Danville.

As far as how warm things got, it was the 13th warmest year in Roanoke, about average in Lynchburg, slightly warmer than average in Danville and the 17th warmest year in Blacksburg. Night-time lows were exceptionally warm in areas like Blacksburg and Roanoke, especially in the summertime, when there was more water vapor. 

Some theorize that in a warming climate, there will be more water vapor. This would imply heavier rain events, like what we saw in 2018, and warmer nights. 

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