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Earth's Last Colder-Than-Average Month Was December 1984; Here's What Was Happening Then
Published: April 20, 2017
March 2017 marked the 387th consecutive month that the Earth's average temperature has exceeded the 20th-century average. The last time the average global temperature for a single month was below average occurred in December 1984.
(MORE: March 2017 Global Climate Report)
This is an enormous stretch of time since our planet saw its last cooler-than-average month, and is one of many indications of how our climate is changing.
To put how long ago this was in perspective, here are some of the things that were happening in 1984.
First Commercially Available Mobile Phone
Weighing in at just under two pounds (28 ounces), Motorola's DynaTAC 8000 became available to consumers in 1984.
It was the first hand-held mobile phone available commercially and carried a price tag of $3,995.
Apple's First Macintosh
The first Macintosh computer from Apple was released in January 1984 and came complete with a keyboard and mouse.
For $2,495 ($5,594 in 2014 dollars) you got a computer that featured a screen size of nine inches, an eight megahertz processor, and no internal storage, according to PC Magazine.
Footloose and Ghostbusters Among Popular Movies
The movies Footloose and Ghostbusters were released in the United States Feb. 17, 1984, and June 8, 1984, respectively. What do those movies have in common? They've both been remade in recent years.
Other notable movies released in 1984 include the Karate Kid, Terminator, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Beverly Hills Cop and Gremlins.
Prince's Purple Rain Album Released
Music released in 1984 included Prince's Purple Rain along with the debut albums of several now-famous music groups.
Bon Jovi, Run-D.M.C. and the Red Hot Chili Peppers all released their first albums in1984.
Lebron James Was Born
Cleveland Cavaliers star forward LeBron James was born Dec. 30, 1984, when the globe saw its last cooler-than-average month.
Popular Toys in 1984
Cabbage Patch Kids also continued their popularity from the previous year, selling 18 million dolls in 1984.
The First Minivan Model Year
Minivans are everywhere on the roads these days, but in 1984 it was a new concept.
Ronald Reagan Re-Elected to a Second Term
President Ronald Reagan was re-elected to a second term in the White House after defeating Walter Mondale in November 1984. Reagan took 49 of 50 states in the election and is the last U.S. president to be in office when the world had a colder-than-average month.
Top 5 Most Popular Baby Names in 1984
According to babycenter.com, these were the top five most popular baby names.
Male: Michael, Christopher, Matthew, Joshua, David
Female: Jennifer, Jessica, Ashley, Amanda, Sarah
The Weather Channel Was In Its Infancy
Earth's last below-average temperature month occurred when The Weather Channel television network wasn't even 3 years old. The on-air debut of the network was May 2, 1982.
Meteorologist Jim Cantore was still in college at Lyndon State University and wouldn't make his debut on The Weather Channel until 1986.
MORE: NASA Images of Climate Change
The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.