New federal data makes it abundantly clear that 2017 will be among the warmest years in the modern temperature record that dates back to the late 1800s.

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Reproduced from NOAA, Global Climate Report - November 2017; Chart: Axios Visuals
  • According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average global temperature for January–November period was 0.84°C above the 20th-century average, placing it behind the two warmest years on record — 2016 and 2015 respectively (see chart above).

Why it matters: Scientists are warning that, despite progress in slowing global carbon emissions, the world is still on pace to eventually have warming that goes beyond 2°C above the pre-industrial average — the level determined by the Paris climate agreement that would ward off the most dangerous climatic changes.

Place or show: NASA uses a slightly different methodology than NOAA to track global temperatures. Gavin Schmidt, who directs NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said via Twitter yesterday that 2017 is almost certain to be the second-warmest on record.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.

Texas Democrats beg Biden to spend now

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The Biden campaign is rebuffing persistent pleas from Texas Democrats to spend at least $10 million in the Lone Star state, several people familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: If Texas — which has 38 electoral votes and is steadily getting more blue, but hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976 — flipped to the Biden column, it would be game over. But the RealClearPolitics polling average stubbornly hovers at +2.6 for Trump — and Team Biden appears more focused on closer targets.