2018 was the fourth hottest year since modern recordkeeping
began. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration work together to track temperatures around the world and
study how they change from year to year. For decades, the overall global temperature
has been increasing.
Over the long term, world temperatures are warming, but each
individual year is affected by things like El Niño ocean patterns and specific
Globally, Earth’s temperature was more than 1.5 degrees
Fahrenheit warmer than the average from 1951 to 1980.
Since 1880, we can put together a consistent
record of temperatures around the planet and see that it was much colder in the
Before 1880, uncertainties in tracking global temperatures were too large.
Temperatures have increased even faster since the 1970s, the result of
increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The last five years have been the hottest in the modern
Scientists from NASA use data from 6,300 weather stations
and Antarctic research stations, together with ship- and buoy-based
observations of sea surface temperatures to track global temperatures.