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Expand chart
Data: NASA GISS; Graphic: Harry Stevens/Axios

The world's top 5 warmest years on record have occurred since 2014 — and it's almost certain that 2019 will be added to this list as well.

Why it matters: Such trends are indicative of long-term global warming due to human activities such as burning fossil fuels for energy and transportation, cutting down forests for agriculture and other purposes. Only 1 of the top 20 warmest years on record since instrument data began in 1880 took place before the year 2000. With greenhouse gas concentrations in the air at their highest level in 3 million years, the odds favor more record-shattering years in the future.

Many countries have been setting new milestones for monthly record warmth, as is the world at large. Here are some of 2019's noteworthy temperature records:

Monthly rankings

Monthly temperature records are based on estimates from a number of different organizations, including NOAA and NASA.

  • January: Third-warmest January, per NOAA
  • February: Fifth-warmest February, per NOAA
  • March: Third-warmest March
    • NOAA and Europe's Copernicus Climate Service ranked March as the 2nd-warmest on record, while NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency ranked the month slightly lower as the 3rd-warmest March on record.
  • April: Second-warmest April
    • April saw a global temperature anomaly of 0.99ºC, or 1.8ºF, above the 20th century average, per NASA.
  • July: Passed August 2016 at the hottest-ever month on record by 0.14ºF, according to the NOAA and Europe's Copernicus Climate Service.
National records

Aside from global trends, some individual continents and countries are setting records of their own. Here are a few national records that have been broken this year, some of which still need to be verified in order to officially enter the record books:

  • Angola saw its hottest temperature ever measured for any month in February.
  • Australia shattered its record for the hottest summer ever, propelling its national average temperature to a new all-time high.
    • January had an average temperature that was 5.2°F (2.91°C) above the 1961–1990 average — the first time any month has topped 86°F (30°C), nationally.
  • Belgium broke its all-time record at 40.6°C (105°F) on July 25.
  • France saw its hottest June day on June 26 with an average high of 94.8°F (34.8°C).
    • France also broke its all-time record of 44.1°C (111.4°F) on June 28 as the temperature rose to 44.3°C (111.7°F) in Carpentras.
  • Germany broke its record of 41.5°C (106.7°F) on July 25, according to the German Weather Service, and reported by DPA News.
  • Kenya saw its highest April temperature on April 20 in Mandera, which hit 41.6ºC (106.88ºF).
  • The Netherlands broke its all-time record on July 25 at 4o.4°C (104.7°F).
  • Poland and Germany each set a new respective June temperature record.
  • Russia set its hottest May temperature on record in Yelabuga at 32.9ºC (91.22ºF) on May 13.
  • Vietnam broke its record for hottest May temperature on May 20 at 42.8ºC (109.04ºF) in Con Cuông.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
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John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”