A little-known index is key to understanding how the Earth's climate continues to build up heat in the air and oceans, resulting in sweeping changes across the globe.

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Adapted from a NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory report; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: Known as the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, or AGGI, which NOAA produces, it clearly shows that despite numerous agreements and goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the ability of the atmosphere to trap extra heat keeps growing.

Details: This year the AGGI rose to a value of 1.43, meaning that the increase in the atmosphere’s heat-trapping capacity attributable to human activity has risen 43% since 1990. James Butler, who directs NOAA's air monitoring program, tells Axios the growth in the AGGI is accelerating.

  • "It’s a measure of what we’ve already committed towards causing climate to change,” Butler says. "Since 1990, we’ve added 43% more long-lived greenhouse gases than in the previous 240 years.”

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Updated 46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 32,919,487 — Total deaths: 995,352 — Total recoveries: 22,770,166Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 7,089,611 — Total deaths: 204,566 — Total recoveries: 2,750,459 — Total tests: 100,492,536Map.
  3. States: New York daily cases top 1,000 for first time since June — U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases.
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.

Biden on Supreme Court fight: "This is about whether or not the ACA will exist"

Joe Biden made health care the overwhelming focus of his remarks from Wilmington, Delaware, on Sunday, stressing that the Senate confirmation battle over Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court is about preserving the Affordable Care Act in the midst of a pandemic.

Why it matters: Democrats are aggressively pushing the message that Barrett, who has previously criticized Chief Justice John Roberts for his 2012 ruling salvaging the ACA, will seek to invalidate the law when the Supreme Court hears a Trump administration-backed lawsuit against it on Nov. 10.

McMaster: Trump's peaceful transition comments are a "gift to our adversaries"

President Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses November's presidential election is a "gift to our adversaries," Trump's former national security adviser H.R. McMaster said Sunday.

The big picture: McMaster, a retired three-star general, said that the American people must understand that the military will have "no role" in a presidential transition and that it's "irresponsible" to even talk about it as a possibility.

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