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Expand chart
The average temperature anomaly per decade, compared to a baseline of 1951-1980. Data: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Surface Temperature Analysis; Graphic: Harry Stevens/Axios

Every area of the globe has warmed since instrument records began in 1880, NASA data shows. The planet isn't warming equally, however — the fastest temperature increases are taking place at the poles. The Arctic, for example, is warming at more than twice the rate of the rest of the globe, melting sea ice, glaciers and permafrost.

The bottom line: Due largely to human emissions of greenhouse gases, there is virtually no such thing as a cooler than average year on Earth anymore. (The last cooler-than-average month was 30 years ago, in December 1984).

"The globe is warming. There’s noise in each month or year but by the time you are looking at decadal means that part is small and the trends undeniable," said Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

What to watch: This year is expected to be among the top five warmest years.

How to read this map: It shows how much global temperatures have varied from the 1951-1980 average for each decade since 1880. NASA uses the 1951-80 period as a temperature baseline, or reference period.

Go deeper

Judge temporarily blocks South Carolina ban on school mask mandates

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster. Photo: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked South Carolina's ban on mask mandates in schools, ruling that it discriminated against students with disabilities and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Why it matters: As mask bans extend to public schools around the country, parents and disability rights activists have sounded alarm bells. The ruling may signal the outcomes of legal fights playing out across the country.

DeSantis takes legal action against Biden efforts on immigration

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took legal action on Tuesday to try to stop the Biden administration's immigration plans.

Why it matters: The Republican governor, who is running for re-election next year and is possibly eyeing a 2024 presidential bid, is picking a high-profile fight with Biden while re-upping his hardline stance on immigration.

Left: Senate's threat "insane"

The famously press-shy Sen. Kyrsten Sinema speaks briefly with reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) lambasted Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) on Tuesday, saying "it's insane" that "one senator" is blocking attempts to settle on a palatable figure for President Biden's proposed $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package.

Why it matters: The figure is the linchpin to getting progressive support for the companion $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package. Khanna's statement reflects broader dissatisfaction among House progressives with Sinema and her fellow holdout, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

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