Earth’s global average surface temperature in 2020 tied with 2016 for the warmest year on record, according to an analysis by NASA. The bar chart below shows this year in the context of the past 140 years in the modern temperature record. Tracking global temperature trends provides a critical indicator of the impact of human activities—specifically, greenhouse gas emissions—on our planet. Scientists from Europe’s Copernicus program also have 2020 tying 2016 as the warmest year on record, while the UK Met Office ranked 2020 as the second-warmest. NASA’s full 2020 surface temperature data set and the complete methodology used to make the temperature calculations are available online.