If you doubt climate change, think of how hot this November is compared to previous years when the harmattan haze would have been the order of the day by this time of the year.

On Thursday, the United Nations said global temperatures in 2018 are set to be the fourth highest on record, stressing the urgent need for action to rein in runaway warming of the planet, AFP reports.

In a report released ahead of the COP24 climate summit in Poland, the World Meteorological Organization pointed out that the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, and that "2018 is on course to be the 4th warmest year on record."

"This would mean that the past four years – 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 – are also the four warmest years in the series," the UN agency said in its provisional report on the state of the climate this year.

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The "warming trend is obvious and continuing," WMO chief Petteri Taalas told reporters in Geneva.

The report shows that the global average temperature for the first 10 months of the year was nearly 1.0-degree Celsius above the pre-industrial era (1850-1900).

"It is worth repeating once again that we are the first generation to fully understand climate change and the last generation to be able to do something about it," Taalas warned.

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