Earth's surface was warmer last month than during any September on record, with temperatures since January tracking those of the hottest ever calendar year in 2016, the European Union's Earth Observation Programme said yesterday. This year has now seen three months of record warmth -- January, May and September -- with June and April virtually tied for first, the Copernicus Climate Change Service reported. For the 12-month period through September, the planet was nearly 1.3 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. That is alarmingly close to the 1.5C threshold for severe impacts detailed in a major 2018 report by the UN's climate science advisory panel, the IPCC. So far, Earth has warmed on average by one degree, enough to boost the intensity of deadly heatwaves, droughts and tropical storms made more destructive by rising seas.