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September 2018 ranked as the fifth-warmest September on record dating back to 1895, with monthly temperature anomalies shown on this map. Image: NASA

September 2018 was the planet's fifth-warmest September on record, and the world is poised to record its fourth-warmest year, according to new data NASA released Monday.

Why this matters: According to Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, 2018 is also likely to be the fourth year in a row with an average temperature of 1ºC, or 1.8ºF, above the 19th century average. A recent climate report from the UN warned of severe consequences if global warming is not limited to 1.5ºC, or 2.7ºF, above average, compared to preindustrial levels.

The details: During September, the eastern U.S. was much warmer than average, as was Europe, the Russian Arctic and Alaska. South America, Africa and Australia were also warmer than average. In fact, Earth's only cool spots during September could be found in northwest Canada, parts of the North Atlantic near Greenland and northeastern Antarctica.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which also keeps tabs on global temperatures:

  • The five warmest years in the global record have all come in the 2010s.
  • The 10 warmest years on record have come since 1998.

The big picture: With an El Niño event developing in the tropical Pacific Ocean, it's likely that 2019 will be warmer than 2018, since such events tend to transfer more heat from the oceans to the atmosphere.

  • The scientific community has concluded that human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases are behind the sharp warming trend seen in recent decades and that only sharp cuts in such emissions can reverse such a trend.

Between the lines: President Donald Trump, however, may disagree with this conclusion, saying in an interview with "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday that he's not sure if climate change is "man-made."

"I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again. I don't think it's a hoax, I think there's probably a difference. But I don't know that it's man-made."

Go deeper: Key global warming target slipping out of reach, UN scientists warn

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

8 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.