The global surface temperature for 2021 was the sixth highest since record keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA scientists. In a separate analysis of global temperature data, also released today, NASA has 2021 tying with 2018 as the sixth-warmest year on record. December’s global surface temperature tied with 2016 as the fifth highest in the 142-year record. In fact, the only part of the world that was cooler than normal was the area that is currently covered by La Nina conditions in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

This summary from NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides to government, business, academia and the public to support informed decision-making. See our full report for a more complete summary of climate conditions and events.