The latest analysis from NASA has placed Earth’s global average surface temperature in 2021 as the sixth warmest on record, tied with 2018.
Global temperatures in 2021 were 1.5°F (0.85°C) above the average for NASA’s baseline period, according to scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. NASA uses the period from 1951-1980 as a baseline to see how global temperature changes over time.
Collectively, the past eight years are the warmest years since modern recordkeeping began in 1880. According to NASA’s temperature record, Earth in 2021 was about 1.9°F (or about 1.1°C) warmer than the late 19th century average, the start of the industrial revolution.
But what is a temperature record? GISTEMP, NASA’s global temperature analysis, takes in millions of observations from instruments on weather stations, ships and ocean buoys, and Antarctic research stations, to determine how much warmer or cooler Earth is on average from year to year. Stretching back to 1880, NASA’s record shows a clear warming trend.
Watch the latest video from NASA to learn more or click here to read more about the latest temperature record results.
Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Scientific Visualization Studio