News Analysis

1998 Warmest Year on Record

Preliminary results are in, and 1998 looks like the warmest ever. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced on December 17 that global temperatures in 1998 would be the warmest since recordkeeping began in 1860. The global mean surface temperature for 1998 is estimated to be 1.4°F (0.58°C) above the recent long-term average based on the period of 1961-1990, and 0.27°F (0.15°C) above the previous warmest year on record (1997). WMO data through November comes from more than 1,000 land stations, and from a few hundred land stations through the middle of December, according to the 24 December 1998 issue of

Global Environmental Change Report (GECR). 1998 was the 20th consecutive year with an above-normal global surface temperature, according to the WMO. The ten warmest years have all occurred since 1983, and seven of them since 1990. Through October, WMO data showed that new monthly temperature records were set in each of the past 18 months.

Published January 1, 1999

(1999, January 1). 1998 Warmest Year on Record. Retrieved from