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Global Temperature

Written: 9/10/21 Author: Isaiah Dillard

Global Temperature

Latest Annual Average Global Temperature Anomaly

1.02°C / 1.84°f

The international scientific and government communities have created tracking models that allow us to predict and know the current and future planetary temperature rise, and the impacts that human-caused climate change has on the global ecosystem. The scientific community has called for new action from the public, private, and business sectors to create knowledge, initiatives, technologies, and policies; to directly and disruptively impact the decrease of the global temperature and the impact of Greenhouse Gases (GHG).

This graph illustrates the change in global surface temperature relative to 1951-1980 average temperatures. Nineteen of the warmest years have occurred since 2000, with the exception of 1998. The year 2020 is tied with 2016 for the warmest year on record since record-keeping began in 1880 (source: NASA/GISS). This research is broadly consistent with similar constructions prepared by the Climatic Research Unit and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Global Climate Tracker


The Climate Action Tracker is an independent scientific analysis that tracks government climate action and measures it against the globally agreed Paris Agreement aim of "holding warming well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C." A collaboration of two organizations, Climate Analytics and New Climate Institute, the CAT has been providing this independent analysis to policymakers since 2009.


Current policies around the world are projected to result in about a 2.9°C warming above pre-industrial levels. Scientists have run an “optimistic” targets scenario analyzing the effect of net zero emissions targets of 131 countries that are adopted in the Paris Climate Agreement; governments will achieve targets with median warming estimates is 2.0°C, to below 2.2°C. Limiting warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels means that the emissions of greenhouse gases must be reduced rapidly in the coming years and decades, and brought to zero before mid-century.

The Consequences If We Do Not Reach Our Targets

If we fall short of the climate action plan, our planet may see numerous negative effects in ranging areas.

  • Reduced livable land areas: Due to rising sea levels and increased heat stress, low-lying areas, and equatorial regions could become uninhabitable.

  • Scarce food and water: Global warming may increase water and food scarcity. In particular, fisheries and aquafarming face increasing risks from ocean warming and acidification.

  • Loss of life: The World Health Organization projects that climate change will cause 250,000 additional deaths per year between 2030 and 2050.

  • Less biodiversity: About 30% of plant and animal species could be extinct by 2070, primarily due to increases in maximum annual temperature.

  • Economic losses: At 4 degrees Celsius warming by 2080-2099, the U.S. could suffer annual losses amounting to 2% of GDP (about $400B). If global warming is limited to 2 degrees, losses would likely drop to 0.5% of GDP.

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