extreme weather

2018 is "almost guaranteed" to be Earth's 4th-warmest year on record

September ranked as the 5th-warmest such month on record dating back to 1895.
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.

Hurricane Michael's death toll keeps rising as scale of damage is revealed

Boats damaged by Hurricane Michael
Boats damaged by Hurricane Michael. Photo: Mark Wallhesier/Getty Images

Hurricane Michael was one of the strongest hurricanes in U.S. history, slamming the Florida Panhandle and completely altering the landscape — particularly between Panama City and Apalachicola.

The impact: The hurricane's death toll reached 17 on Friday, CNN reports. Satellite images from the storm show winds were strong enough to rip homes out of their foundations and demolish structures completely. Rescue helicopters with first responders were searching through what remains of Mexico Beach pier.