May 2023 Global Temperatures




3rd warmest May since 1880


CSAS / GISS update: June 16, 2023
  • The global average surface temperature in May 2023 was 1.22°C above the average for the pre-industrial comparison period of 1880-1920.
  • May 2023 was the 3rd warmest May since 1880.  

Global Monthly Average Temperatures
1880 to Present Relative to 1880-1920 Baseline Average
(a better proxy for pre-industrial temperatures)

Columbia University Graph of Global Average Temperatures Relative to 1880-1920


This graph by Columbia University replaces the traditional 1951-1980 baseline period with 1880-1920 for the reasons given in "A Better Graph."  The graph is produced by Climate Science, Awareness, and Solutions at Columbia University, and also available as a PDF.  A monthly data table for recent years is published by CSAS. 

With Our Traditional 1951-1980 Base Period from Here

This graph compares global monthly temperatures in recent years with global record-high temperaturtes. It is available in PDF and accessible on the source Global Temperature page on the Columbia University website.


Monthly global temperature data and reports

This global temperature update originates from Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions (CSAS) in the Earth Institute at Columbia University, New York, USA.  The update presents an analysis by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) of near-global temperature data from 1880 to 2022.  

This CO2.Earth page is prepared independently.  However, reasons for featuring global temperature comparisons with averages for 1880-1920 period are explained in the 2016 paper, A better graph by Dr. James Hansen and Dr. Makiko Sato.

Source data and related information are linked below. 

Columbia Climate School / CSAS / GISS  Temperature & climate data and information 


NASA GISS  Source data analysis


NOAA NCEI  Source dataset information


NOAA-NCEI  Global temperature updates and climate analysis

*Note: NOAA-NCEI reports temperature increases relative to the 20th Century global average surface temperature, not pre-industrial levels.  



2022 Global Temperature




Relative to the 1880-1920 average

5th warmest year since 1880


The global average temperature in 2022 was 1.16°C warmer than the baseline average for 1880-1920.  It is the 5th warmest year on record since 1880.  Annual temperature and ranking data are posted as a table by CSAS at Columbia University.


CSAS Earth Institute annual update: January 13, 2022 

"Global surface temperature in 2021 (see figure above) was +1.12°C (~2°F) relative to the 1880-1920 average in the GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) analysis.


"2021 and 2018 are tied for 6th warmest year in the instrumental record. The eight warmest years in the record occurred in the past eight years. The warming rate over land is about 2.5 times faster than over the ocean. The irregular El Nino/La Nina cycle dominates interannual temperature variability, which suggests that 2022 will not be much warmer than 2021, but 2023 could set a new record. Moreover, three factors:

  1. accelerating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,
  2. decreasing aerosols,
  3. the solar irradiance cycle will add to an already record-high planetary energy imbalance and drive global temperature beyond the 1.5°C limit – likely during the 2020s.


"Because of inertia and response lags in the climate and energy systems, the 2°C limit also will likely be exceeded by midcentury, barring intervention to reduce anthropogenic interference with the planet’s energy balance.  

>> Source: Global Temperatures in 2021; Hansen, Makiko & Ruedy



Columbia Climate School / CSAS / GISS  Annual temperature data & analysis


Recent Annual Global Temperature Reports  

Berkeley Earth  2021  2020   2019

Columbia Climate School / CSAS / GISS  2021   2020   2019

NOAA NCEI  2021   2020   2019


Regional Temperature Changes

Berkeley Earth   Cities  (temperature changes since 1960)

Berkeley Earth  Countries  |  (emissions and temperature changes to 2020 with projections for 2100)


Recent Annual Global Temperature Reports  




Acceleration in Global Warming

Columbia University Reports Observed Acceleration in Global Warming

Paper by J. Hansen and M. Sato

December 14, 2020


Global temperature and Niño3.4 SST (through to November 2020)

2020 11 global temperature plot columbiaU hansen sato 2020 12 14


December 14 2020: Abstract

"Record global temperature in 2020, despite a strong La Niña in recent months, reaffirms a global warming acceleration that is too large to be unforced noise – it implies an increased growth rate of the total global climate forcing and Earth’s energy imbalance. Growth of measured forcings (greenhouse gases plus solar irradiance) decreased during the period of increased warming, implying that atmospheric aerosols probably decreased in the past decade. There is a need for accurate aerosol measurements and improved monitoring of Earth’s energy imbalance.

"November 2020 was the warmest November in the period of instrumental data, thus jumping 2020 ahead of 2016 in the 11-month averages.  December 2016 was relatively cool, so it is clear that 2020 will slightly edge 2016 for the warmest year, at least in the GISTEMP analysis. The rate of global warming accelerated in the past 6-7 years (Fig. 2). The deviation of the 5-year (60 month) running mean from the linear warming rate is large and persistent; it implies an increase in the net climate forcing and Earth’s energy imbalance, which drive global warming.


>> Source: Global Warming Acceleration by Hansen & Sato, 2020



Projections for Global Temperatures in 2022


Berkeley Earth (Jan. 2022):
2022 will be "similar" or "slightly warmer" than 2021


Columbia Climate School / CSAS (Jan. 2022):
"2022 will not be much warmer than 2021, but 2023 could set a new record"



Warnings From the Recent Past


"Globally-averaged temperatures in 2015 shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit (0.13 Celsius). Only once before, in 1998, has the new record been greater than the old record by this much."

~ NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies [NASA post of January 20, 2016]


Before the end of 2015, scientists projected that average global temperature increase for 2015 will exceed 1°C above pre-industrial levels.  The years 1850-1900 are used as the pre-industrial baseline by the MET Office and Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the UK.  The MET Office released this statement in November 2015:


"This year marks an important first but that doesn't necessarily mean every year from now on will be a degree or more above pre-industrial levels, as natural variability will still play a role in determining the temperature in any given year.  As the world continues to warm in the coming decades, however, we will see more and more years passing the 1 degree marker - eventually it will become the norm."

~ Peter Stott
Head of Climate Monitoring and Attribution (MET Office)



CO2 vs. Sun as Global Heating Factors  


The temperature and CO2 tracker below plots data which shows a correlation of changes in atmospheric CO2 levels and global average temperature. Data for solar energy outputs show no general increase to attribute to global temperature increases.  This tracker is designed and maintained by Bernd Herd and inspired by scientist Stefan Rahmstorf.  



>> Read More





NOAA NCEI State of the Climate: Global Analysis (Monthly)

NOAA NCEI State of the Climate: Global Analysis (Annual)

SkS  TOOL | Make your own global temperature chart

SkS  Tracking the 2°C Limit | February 2016




MET Office '15  Global temperatures to reach 1°C for first time

MET Office  2015 global temperature forecast 

NY Times  2015 likely to be hottest year ever recorded

NSIDC '15  Record warmth in Antarctica

CO2.Earth  Projections for Year 2100

CO2.EarthTemperature guardrail targets

Climate Central Rising global temperatures and CO2

NCAR-UCAR  How much has global temperature risen in last 100 years? 

Columbia U   Global Temperature 

The Royal Society  Four degrees and beyond