2018 marked record highs for sea levels and greenhouses gas levels, NCEI says

Posted at 11:50 AM, Aug 12, 2019

2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record and sea levels recorded during the year were the highest ever recorded, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

The findings come as part of NCEI's "State of the Climate" report for 2018, which was released on Monday.

2018 ranked behind 2016 (first), 2015 (second) and 2017 (third) for the warmest years on record. NCEI reported that 2018 remained one of the hottest years on record, despite a La Nina system cooling ocean waters in the Pacific during early parts of the year.

The report also notes that sea levels reached record highs for the seventh straight year in 2018. NCEI says that ocean levels are rising at about an inch per decade.

The rise in sea level also matches with near-record low ice levels in the Arctic. The NCEI report notes that at on Match 17, 2018, the amount of ice in the arctic was the second-lowest ever recorded in recorded history, dating back 38 years.

NCEI also noted that carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide levels in the atmosphere were the highest ever recorded. All three are key greenhouses gasses that NCEI says contributes to climate change and global warming.

Finally, NCEI noted that there were 14 weather and climate incidents in 2018 that resulted in over $1 billion in damages. Hurricane Florence was among the deadliest of those events, killing 24 people, most in the Carolinas.