The past five years have been the warmest on record

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA say that 2018 was 4th hottest year on record for the globe, just behind 2016 (warmest), 2015 (second warmest) and 2017 (third warmest). A super optimist might claim that there is a slight cooling trend since 2016, but this suggests that predictions of global warming had some credence.

20 of the last 22 years have been the warmest on record.

In separate analyses of global temperatures, scientists from NASA, the United Kingdom Met Office and the World Meteorological Organizationoffsite link also reached the same heat ranking.

And other news recently provide examples of other climate concerns.

Stuff: ‘Dangerous’ Antarctic glacier has massive hole, scientists warn

A large cavity has formed under what has been described as one of the world’s most dangerous glaciers, and could contribute to a significant bump in global sea levels, said Nasa scientists.

A study led by the agency revealed a cavity about two-thirds the area of Manhattan and roughly 304 metres tall is growing under Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica.

The cavity is large enough to have contained 14 billion tons of ice, most of which has melted within the last three years, say researchers.

The study was published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances.

Thwaites has been described as one of the world’s most dangerous glaciers because its demise could lead to rapid changes in global sea levels.

JPL said the glacier, about the size of Florida, holds enough ice to raise ocean levels another 60 centimetres if it completely melts.

It also backstops other glaciers capable to raising sea levels another 2.4m.

Until recently Antarctica was thought to be bucking warming trends, but new research appears to be uncovering more melt than had been realised.

Reuters:  Norway’s Arctic islands at risk of ‘devastating’ warming: report

Icy Arctic islands north of Norway are warming faster than almost anywhere on Earth and more avalanches, rain and mud may cause “devastating” changes by 2100, a Norwegian report said on Monday.

Icy Arctic islands north of Norway are warming faster than almost anywhere on Earth and more avalanches, rain and mud may cause “devastating” changes by 2100, a Norwegian report said on Monday.

Many other parts of the Arctic, especially its islands, are also warming far quicker than the world average as the retreat of snow and sea ice exposes darker water and ground that soaks up ever more of the sun’s heat.

LiveScience: The Greenland Ice Sheet Is Melting at Astonishing Rate

Last week, a cauldron of concerning news articles made two things very clear: The ocean is warming and Antarctica’s ice is melting.

Now, a new study shows how much global warming is pounding another area: Greenland.

Greenland’s ice sheet is not only melting, but it’s melting faster than ever because the area has become more sensitive to natural climate fluctuations, particularly an atmospheric cycle, a group of scientists reported today (Jan. 21) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers found that the ice is vanishing four times faster than it was in 2003 — and a good chunk of that acceleration is happening in southwest Greenland.

RNZ:  2018 was NZ’s warmest year on record – climate scientist

Veteran climate scientist Jim Salinger has calculated the mean annual land surface temperature in 2018 was 13.5 degrees Celsius, which was 0.85C above the 1981-2010 average.

This was “a smidgeon” hotter than the previous warmest year on record, 2016, which was 0.84C above normal.

Claim that Greenland ice melt tipping point may have been reached

One of the concerns with climate change was that once a tipping point was reached warming and ice melt would accelerate. A new study claims that this is what is happening in Greenland, and there is little that can be done about it but adapt.

CNN: The only thing we can do is adapt’: Greenland ice melt reaching ‘tipping point,’ study finds

Climate change is causing Greenland’s massive ice sheets to melt much faster than previously thought, a new study has found, and it may be “too late” to do anything about it.

The findings could have dire implications for the planet’s low lying islands and coastal cities. Eight of Earth’s 10 largest cities in the world are near coasts, and 40% to 50% of the planet’s population live in areas vulnerable to rising seas.

Michael Bevis, a professor of geodynamics at The Ohio State University and the lead author of the study, says the research found that humanity may have passed the point of no return when it comes to combating climate change.

“The only thing we can do is adapt and mitigate further global warming — it’s too late for there to be no effect,” said Bevis. “This is going to cause additional sea level rise. We are watching the ice sheet hit a tipping point.”

warning/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Global warning: Greenland’s melting glaciers may someday flood your city
Greenland’s ice has historically melted in cycles due to natural weather phenomena, but rising temperatures have exacerbated the trend, said Bevis.

“These oscillations have been happening forever,” he said. “So why only now are they causing this massive melt? It’s because the atmosphere is, at its baseline, warmer.”

The study Bevis lead, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analyzed GPS data from Greenland’s coast to more precisely understand previous research from a joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Center — which found that Greenland shed approximately 280 gigatons of ice per year, causing global sea level to rise by 0.03 inches (0.8 millimeters).

That’s not a lot on it’s own, but it is part of a growing problem.

“We knew we had one big problem with increasing rates of ice discharge by some large outlet glaciers,” Bevis said. “But now we recognize a second serious problem: Increasingly, large amounts of ice mass are going to leave as meltwater, as rivers that flow into the sea.”

There was always a chance of things turning out to be worse than predicted. There appears to be an increasing likelihood that that is what is happening.