NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) has just released their 2018 annual climate summary and has concluded that 2018 was the fourth warmest year on record (since 1880). The Japanese Meteorological Agency, NASA, the UK’s Met Office, and Berkeley Earth are also in agreement, making the last five years the five warmest years on record. Global temperatures were slightly cooler than during 2017, partly due to the presence of La Niña conditions. The 11-year solar sunspot cycle is also nearing its minimum, which can have a cooling effect on the Earth’s atmosphere.
For additional reading, check out these other 2018 annual climate summaries from the UK’s Met Office and Berkeley Earth. Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground also gives a good summary report and discusses some of the notable climatic events of 2018.