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People gather by a cooling station on a hot winter day on Ipanema beach on the Atlantic Ocean. Photo: Mario Tama / Getty Images

NASA analysis reveals that 2017 was the second hottest year on record since 1880, reaching global temperatures 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit higher "than the 1951 to 1980 mean."

Why it matters: Per NASA, the five hottest years ever recorded have all been since 2010, and the change in Earth's surface temperature is "driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions."

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration pegged 2017 as the third warmest year. NASA attributes that difference to "different methods used...to analyze global temperatures."
  • The difference between the heat in 2017 and 2016 (which is the hottest year ever recorded), is that last year's heat "was not aided by El Niño, the Pacific weather pattern that is usually linked to record-setting heat," the New York Times reports.

Go deeper

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines.
  2. Health: Lessons for trapping the next pandemic.
  3. Tech: "Fludemic" model accurately maps COVID hotspotsVirtual doctor's visits and digital health tools take off.
  4. Politics: Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill — Republican governor of West Virginia says there's no plan to lift mask mandate.
  5. World: Canada vaccine panel recommends 4 months between doses — In AstraZeneca spat, EU fights hard for a vaccine its hardly using.
Dave Lawler, author of World
11 mins ago - World

In AstraZeneca spat, EU fights hard for a vaccine its hardly using

Macron, Merkel and European Council President Charles Michel (R) at a summit in October. Photo: Yves Herman/Pool/AFP via Getty

Italy on Thursday blocked the export of 250,000 AstraZeneca doses to Australia, becoming the first EU country to exercise an export ban due to a vaccine shortfall in the bloc.

Why it matters: The controversial step exposes multiple major challenges to distributing vaccines — even among the world’s richest countries.

Dave Lawler, author of World
35 mins ago - World

Global freedom continues steady decline: report

The global erosion of democracy has continued for a 15th consecutive year, according to an annual report from Freedom House.

Zoom in: The report calls particular attention to India, which slipped from “free” to “partly free” due to the government's “scapegoating of Muslims” and “crackdown on critics.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi is, according to the report, “driving India itself toward authoritarianism.”