Hurricane Michael

Earth's 5 warmest years on record have occurred since 2014

Data: NASA GISS; Graphic: Harry Stevens/Axios

Last year was Earth's 4th-warmest year on record, coming in behind 2016, the planet's warmest recorded year, as well as 2015 and 2017, according to information released Wednesday by NOAA, NASA and the U.K. Met Office.

Why it matters: The yearly rankings don't tell the whole story of long-term climate change, since natural variability can still push or pull an individual year up or down the rankings. However, the overall picture is growing starker with each passing year. Nine of the 10 warmest years on record since reliable data began in 1880 have occurred since 2005. At the same time, greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels — as well as deforestation and intensive agriculture — have skyrocketed to levels not seen in more than 800,000 years.

Florida makes it easier to vote in counties hit by Hurricane Michael

Rick Scott
Rick Scott. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Governor Rick Scott announced Thursday that the eight counties hit hardest by Hurricane Michael will have the ability to start and end their early voting periods beyond state deadlines and make it easier for citizens to vote by mail.

Flashback: Florida Democrats filed an injunction last week requesting an extension on voter registration by at least a week, but Scott only granted an extension for a single day.

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