2018: 2nd warmest year for Alaska, 4th for the planet
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been keeping track of climate data for 139 years. A new report from NOAA ranks 2018 as the 4th warmest year during that time period. This follows close behind 2016, 2015 and 2017 in the line of warmest years on record.
These rankings are the same reached by NASA, the UK Met Office and the World Meteorological Organization.
The temperature in 2018 was an average of 1.42 degrees above the 20th century average. This comes from a global average sea surface temperature of 1.19 degrees above normal and an average land surface temperature that's 2.02 degrees above normal.
Much of Europe, New Zealand, the Middle East and Russia experienced record-high average temperatures, while the southern Pacific Ocean and parts of the north and south Atlantic Ocean recorded record-high average surface temperatures.
Alaska experienced its second hottest year on record in 2018, a real difference from the Lower 48. The contiguous states averaged 1.5 degrees above the long-term normal. This ranks as the 14th warmest year on record and the 22nd consecutive year of warmer-than-average temperatures.
The report also details the decline in ice extent in the Arctic. 2018 started with record-low sea ice in the Arctic and saw the second smallest extent of sea ice on record, barely edging out 2017 with an approximate average of 400 million square miles of ice coverage.
2018 goes down as the 42nd consecutive year with an above-average global temperature. Nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred in the last 14 years, with the last five years topping the list.
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