2023 was the World’s Warmest Year on Record, By Far


It’s official: 2023 was the planet’s warmest year on record, according to an analysis by scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

Along with the historic heat, Antarctic sea ice coverage dropped to a record low in 2023.

“After seeing the 2023 climate analysis, I have to pause and say that the findings are astounding,” said NOAA Chief Scientist Dr. Sarah Kapnick. “Not only was 2023 the warmest year in NOAA’s 174-year climate record — it was the warmest by far. A warming planet means we need to be prepared for the impacts of climate change that are happening here and now, like extreme weather events that become both more frequent and severe.

“We will continue to see records broken and extreme events grow until emissions go to zero,” Kapnick said. “Government policy can address both emissions, but also actions to reduce climate impacts by building resilience.”

Below are highlights from NOAA’s 2023 annual global climate report:

A world map plotted with color blocks depicting percentiles of global average land and ocean temperatures for the full year 2023. Color blocks depict increasing warmth, from dark blue (record-coldest area) to dark red (record-warmest area) and spanning areas in between that were "much cooler than average" through "much warmer than average." 
Climate by the numbers

Earth’s average land and ocean surface temperature in 2023 was 2.12 degrees F (1.18 degrees C) above the 20th century — the highest global temperature among all years in NOAA’s 1850-2023 climate record. It also beats the next warmest year, 2016, by a record-setting margin of 0.27 of a degree F (0.15 of a degree C).

The 10 warmest years since 1850 have all occurred in the past decade. In fact, the average global temperature for 2023 exceeded the pre-industrial (1850–1900) average by 2.43 degrees F (1.35 degrees C).

Looking ahead, there is a one-in-three chance that 2024 will be warmer than 2023, and a 99% chance that 2024 will rank among the top five warmest years.


Learn More at noaa.gov