Earth cooled slightly last year - but it still was the fourth warmest on record، a new analysis shows.
With the partial U.S. government shutdown، federal agency calculations for last year's temperatures are delayed.
But independent scientists at Berkeley Earth calculate that last year's average temperature was 58.93 degrees (14.96 degrees Celsius)، 1.39 degrees (0.77 degrees Celsius) warmer than the average from 1951 to 1980 and about 2.09 degrees (1.16 degrees Celsius) warmer than pre-industrial times. 'Global mean temperature in 2018 was colder than 2015، 2016، and 2017، but warmer than every previously observed year prior to 2015،' the researchers said.
'Consequently، 2016 remains the warmest year in the period of historical observations.
'The slight decline in 2018 is likely to reflect short-term natural variability، but the overall pattern remains consistent with a long-term trend towards global warming.'
It's likely other temperature measuring groups will agree on 2018's ranking since they had it at fourth hottest through November، said Berkeley Earth climate scientist Zeke Hausfather.
The Japanese Meteorological Agency has already calculated it at fourth.
Hausfather said it would be foolish to call last year's slight dip a cooling trend.
'The long term is stunningly clear،' he said.
Only 2016، 2017 and 2015 were warmer than last year، with only small differences among them.