Summer 2023 Record High Global Temperatures

  • Released Thursday, September 14th, 2023
  • Updated Sunday, January 28th, 2024 at 11:14PM
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The summer of 2023 was Earth’s hottest since global records began in 1880, according to an analysis by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

The months of June, July, and August combined were 0.41 degrees Fahrenheit (0.23 degrees Celsius) warmer than any other summer in NASA’s record, and 2.1 degrees F (1.2 C) warmer than the average summer between 1951 and 1980. August alone was 2.2 F (1.2 C) warmer than the average. June through August is considered meteorological summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

Three graphics are provided here. A map showing the regional variation of temperature anomalies, a plot of monthly temperature anomalies with the seasonal cycle included, and a climate spiral graphic plotting monthly temperature anomalies without the seasonal cycle.

Temperature anomalies are deviations from a long term global average. In this case the period 1951-1980 is used to define the baseline for the anomaly. These temperature anomalies are based on the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP v4), an estimate of global surface temperature change. The data file used to create this visualization is publicly accessible here.

The Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) is a NASA laboratory managed by the Earth Sciences Division of the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The laboratory is affiliated with Columbia University’s Earth Institute and School of Engineering and Applied Science in New York.



Additional versions of these graphics labeled in Fahrenheit and Spanish are below.

Monthly temperature anomalies measure from 1880 to August 2023 measured with respect to a the baseline period 1951-1980. This graph includes the seasonal cycle (from MERRA2) showing that June 2023, July 2023, and August 2023 were each the warmest month on record.

Versions of the graphic are provided in Celsius and Fahrenheit, as well as in English and Spanish.

This 'climate spiral' graphic shows monthly temperature anomalies measure from 1880 to August 2023 measured with respect to a the baseline period 1951-1980.

The term 'climate spiral' describes an animated radial plot of global temperatures. Climate scientist Ed Hawkins from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Reading popularized this style of visualization in 2016.

Versions are provided in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, as well as in English and Spanish.



Credits

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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio


Datasets used in this visualization

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