Wildfires have ripped through Southern California, Greece, and Brazil. A hurricane ravaged North and South Carolina. Massive flooding inundated southern India. Venice waters rose, flooding shops amid heavy downpours in Italy. Temperatures in the North Pacific Ocean this fall were among the warmest on record. A drought withered much of Europe this summer.
As in recent years past, 2018 has also seen a lot of unusual weather, and it is likely to get much worse. Considering the grim predictions, climate science has become more important than ever — we cannot fix problems we either deny or do not understand.
There have been several important developments in our understanding of climate this year; in our quest to understand the relationship between human activity and its effect on the environment; and in our efforts to combat the causes of global warming and protect the public from its worst impacts.
The following are 25 important developments in climate science in 2018. They include advances in clean energy, vast improvements in weather prediction and climate-related data collection, and an ambitious effort to clean the oceans of millions of tons of garbage. Thanks in large part to human activity, the global climate is radically changing, but some are rising to the many challenges facing us in the years to come.