Once again, the world was unusually hot in 2018. In fact, on average it was the fourth-hottest year around the planet since modern record-keeping began in 1880.
If a warming planet were an Olympic sport, fourth wouldn't make the podium. But consider the context: The hottest five years on record are, in fact, the last five years. The year 2016, which was 1.69 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 20th-century average, holds the top spot, with 2018 at 1.42 degrees F warmer.