WASHINGTON — The past five years have been the hottest in modern records, federal scientists said Wednesday, the latest in a series of warnings as House Democrats promise to combat climate change.
Last year was the fourth-warmest year since 1880, according to the report by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which track annual climate trends.
The record was set in 2016, followed by 2017 and 2015, with this century’s repeatedly higher temperatures largely stemming from greenhouse-gas emissions from human activities, the agencies said.
“The impacts of long-term global warming are already being felt — in coastal flooding, heat waves, intense precipitation and ecosystem change,” Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, said in a NASA news release summarizing the data. The report comes after a year of extreme storms, floods and fires across the country. NASA scientists linked the extreme weather to rising temperatures, saying the warming extended fire seasons and fueled bigger storms.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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