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All the global temperature records broken in 2019, so far

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 from Axios' Andrew Freedman: 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.

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.
  • Kenya saw its highest April temperature on April 20 in Mandera, which hit 41.6ºC (106.88ºF).
  • Russia set its hottest May temperature on record in Yelabuga at 32.9ºC (91.22ºF)
  • Vietnam broke its record for its hottest May temperature on May 20 at 42.8ºC (109.04ºF) in Con Cuông.

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