Chart 4 > 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record
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The last five years were the five warmest on record
by John Schwartz
  Tuesday, February 6, 2019 - - Climate newsletter
    I’ve experienced a week of wide-ranging weather. In New Jersey on Thursday, I woke up to 0 degrees Fahrenheit, roughly minus 23 Celsius, for my morning run. By Sunday, it was 50 Fahrenheit and I could grill outside in shorts. Now, I’m in Utah for a reporting trip and it’s snowing again.
    Occasional bitter cold snaps don’t change the fact that the planet is warming over all. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have announced that 2018 was the fourth-warmest year in the history of accurate measurement, which goes back more than a century. The last five years have been the warmest five years, all part of a trend that is unmistakable, said Gavin A. Schmidt of NASA. “We’re no longer talking about a situation where global warming is something in the future,” he told me. “It’s here. It’s now.”
    The changes are all around us, of course. You can see how your own city fared in 2018 with this feature; about 83 percent of the 3,800 cities measured experienced years that were warmer than normal. Then check out this piece from our colleague Nadja Popovich that shows what’s happening to northern lakes that used to reliably freeze in winter.
    In other ice news, NASA found a big hole in the Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica about two-thirds as big as Manhattan and 1,000 feet tall. It could lead to more rapid melting of the glacier, which is about the size of Florida. Also, glaciers in the Himalayas are melting, with serious future consequences for those who depend on the current levels of melt for their water. (If you missed it, please feast your eyes on Henry Fountain’s close look at those issues from the dwindling glaciers of Kazakhstan.)
    In Australia, such torrential rainfall and flooding hit Queensland that residents reported snakes and crocodiles in the streets. In Europe, students have been demonstrating over climate issues. And in other news, Kendra Pierre-Louis wrote about what’s killing off the sea stars. (Spoiler: Climate change is involved.) It’s all part of another busy week at Team Climate.