You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

It’s been three decades since Earth was colder than usual. Three decades.


Using NASA data, Axios has mapped Earth’s temperatures from 1880 onward, and it’s a grim sight. The entire globe has warmed since recording began, but incongruently: The North and South Poles appear to be warming faster than anywhere else on the planet. “That Arctic, for example, is warming at more than twice the rate of the rest of the globe, melting sea ice, glaciers and permafrost,” Andrew Freedman wrote on Thursday.

But it was this parenthetical note later in his piece that takes one’s breath away: “The last cooler-than-average month was 30 years ago, in December 1984.”

Temperatures have risen exponentially ever since. March, April, and May were all among the warmest months on record, and 2018 is projected to be among the five warmest years of all time—along with 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.