ROME, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- The year of 2018 was the hottest on record in Italy since 1800, the National Research Council (CNR) said in a statement Monday.
Temperatures in Italy in 2018 were +1.58 degrees Celsius above the average for 1971-2000, breaking the previous record that occurred in 2015, when temperatures climbed +1.44 degrees Celsius above average.
With respect to 2018, the months of January and April were both "exceptional", according to the CNR. January 2018 was the second hottest since 1800, with temperatures rising +2.37 degrees Celsius above the mean, while April was the hottest ever, with the thermometer soaring by +3.50 degrees Celsius above average.
"Viewed within the context of the last 220 years of Italy's climate history, this is the umpteenth confirmation of the fact that we are witnessing significant climate change in our country," the CNR statement said. "Of the 30 hottest years since 1800 to date, 25 (of those hottest years) occurred after 1990."
"This is statistically significant because it is extremely improbable that temperatures rose for 25 years after 1990 by chance," CNR climate dynamics researcher Michele Brunetti, who is in charge of the CNR's Historic Climatology Data Bank, told Xinhua.
In other words, the rise is due to climate change and not to a fluke, Brunetti explained.
As well, 2018 was also the hottest year on record in Austria, where climate records have been kept since 1760, in Switzerland, where the data has been collected since 1864, and in France and Germany, where climatologists have been logging the information since before 1900, Brunetti said.
According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), on a global level 2015 was the first year to be more than 1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. "2016 was warmer than 2015 and is the warmest year on record," the EEA reported in May 2018.
Under the 2015 United Nations Paris Agreement, the international community agreed to the long-term goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
To achieve this goal, global carbon dioxide emissions would have to drop 45 percent by 2030 compared with 2010 levels and reach "net zero" by 2050, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Chair Hoesung Lee told the last UN climate conference held in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018.