The past four years have been the hottest on record, and we are seeing the effects

Climate scientist Ed Hawkins uses a color scale to represent the change in annual global temperatures from 1850 to 2017.

Story highlights

  • Despite having La Niña, 2018 was 4th warmest year
  • 20 hottest years have all occurred since 1997
  • Warming is worsening world hunger
  • Unprecedented heat and drought on multiple continents

(CNN)Another day, another alarming report about how climate change is not a future problem but rather one that is having severe effects all over the planet now.

This time, the report comes from the World Meteorological Organization, an intergovernmental organization of 191 national meteorological services, such as the US National Weather Service, the UK Met Office and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
The past four years have the been the hottest on record, going back to 1850, the report says, with the 20 hottest years on the list all occurring in the past 22 years.
    Global average temperatures from five independent datasets. The chart shows the overall warming trend since the beginning of the last century, accelerating in the past several decades.