2018 Was Fourth Warmest, But Next 5 Years Could Break Records

February 06, 2019 - 12:59 pm

By Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer

While 2018 was the fourth warmest year on record, British meteorologists are predicting the next five years will be much hotter, even record-breaking.

Two U.S. agencies, the United Kingdom Met Office and the World Meteorological Organization analyze global temperatures in slightly different ways. But they all came to the same conclusion Wednesday: 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record behind 2016, 2015 and 2017.

The U.S. government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says 2018's average temperature was 58.42 degrees. That's 1.42 degrees warmer than the 20th century average.

The British weather office says the next five years will average somewhere between 58.51 and 59.49 degrees. That would be warmer than the last four years.