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Each year, NASA and NOAA undertake the huge task of measuring the average temperature of the Earth, using many thousands of measurements all around the globe. Understanding these long-term changes is vital to how we interact with our environment, from planting different crops to managing water resources, to predicting the strength of hurricanes.

If you thought summer 2021 was hotter than ever you would be correct – for many of us it was! The continental United States and many locations around the world tied or broke heat records this summer. It was also a year of extremes around the world – from the first ever rainfall on the Greenland icecap, to a historic late-season wildfire outside Denver, and a devastating tornado outbreak in the mid-west.  So how did the rest of 2021 fair? NASA and NOAA have released the latest global temperature update for 2021. Here to tell us where 2021 fell in the record books is NASA Earth Scientist Steven Pawson.