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Chart: 2023 Was the Warmest Year on Record – by a Record Margin

There's a one-in-three chance that 2024 will be warmer than 2023 and a 99% chance that 2024 will be among the five warmest years.

Confirming earlier, preliminary reports, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced last week that 2023 was in fact the warmest year on record (since 1850). And it’s not just that 2023 beat the previous temperature record, it did so by a record-breaking margin, as 2023 was 0.15 degrees Celsius warmer than 2016, the previously hottest year. Earth’s average land and ocean surface temperature in 2023 was 1.18 degrees Celsius (2.12 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th-century average of 13.9 degrees Celsius (57.0 degrees Fahrenheit), according to research conducted by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

The 10 warmest years since 1850 have now all occurred in the past decade, as global mean surface temperatures (land and sea) diverged 0.77 to 1.18 degrees Celsius from the 20th century average between 2014 and 2023. And it’s unlikely that the planet’s hot streak will come to an end this year. According to NOAA, there’s a one-in-three chance that 2024 will be warmer than 2023 and a 99% chance that 2024 will be among the five warmest years.

It has now been 47 years since Earth had a cooler-than-average year in 1976, as temperatures have diverged upward from the 20th century average in 48 of the past 50 years. Conversely, just 5 of the the first 90 years of the observance period (i.e. 1850-1939) saw global surface temperatures above the 20th century average of 13.9 degrees Celsius.

“After seeing the 2023 climate analysis, I have to pause and say that the findings are astounding,” NOAA Chief Scientist Dr. Sarah Kapnick said in a statement. “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.”

Infographic: 2023 Was the Warmest Year on Record - by a Record Margin | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista, where this article was originally published.