It is the third year in a row that global average surface temperature set a new record, and the fifth time the record has been broken since the start of the twenty-first century.
This animation shows annual temperatures each year since 1880 compared to the twentieth-century average, ending with record-warm 2016. Because of global warming due to increasing greenhouse gases, the maps from the late 1800s and the early 1900s are dominated by shades of blue, indicating temperatures were up to 3°C (5.4°F) cooler than the twentieth-century average.
By the 1980s, the maps take on shades of yellow, with a few large cooler-than-average spots shifting around from year to year. By the 2000s, most of the planet is orange and red—up to 3°C (5.4°F) warmer than the long-term average, with only a few isolated cool spots from year to year.