Earth's Warming Trend Continued in 2017

Did you know

  • NASA ranked 2017 as the second warmest year on record. NOAA ranked 2017 as the third warmest year on record.
  • The five warmest years on record have all occured since 2010. 
  • 2017 was the third consecutive year in which global temperatures were more than 1.8°F above late nineteenth-century levels.

Continuing earth's long-term warming trend, NASA has reported that globally averaged temperatures in 2017 were 1.62°F warmer than the 1951 to 1980 mean. The warmest year on record was 2016

While 2017 was the second warmest year on record globally, there were regional variations in average annual temperature. For example, NOAA reported that the 2017 annual mean temperature for the contiguous 48 United States was the third warmest on record. 

Unlike the past two years, earth's average temperate in 2017 was not affected by an El Niño warming effect but did have a La Niña cooling pattern in the later months. In an analysis where the effects of the recent El Niño and La Niña patterns were statistically removed from the record, NASA predicts that 2017 would have been the warmest year on record. 

2017 is unusual in that NOAA and NASA's ranking differ. NOAA ranked 2017 as the third warmest year on record. NASA states that, "In a separate, independent analysis, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) concluded that 2017 was the third-warmest year in their record. The minor difference in rankings is due to the different methods used by the two agencies to analyze global temperatures, although over the long-term the agencies’ records remain in strong agreement."

Learn More

  • A map of the globe of that indicates noteworthy climate and weather events that occurred around the world in 2017.

  • Earth’s long-term warming trend can be seen in this visualization of NASA’s global temperature record, which shows how the planet’s temperatures are changing over time, compared to a baseline average from 1951 to 1980. The record is shown as a running five-year average. 

What You Can Do


  • NASA. 2018. Long-Term Warming Trend Continued in 2017: NASA, NOAA. Accessed Online January 22. 
  • NOAA. 2018. NOAA: 2017 was 3rd warmest year on record for the globe. Accessed Online January 22.