Environment Statistics

Collecting, Analyzing and Disseminating data, one Country at a time!

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2019 FAOSTAT Temperature Change Data Update

Rome, 18 March 2019

FAO releases today the 2018 update of the FAOSTAT Temperature Change domain, in collaboration with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA-GISS), based on publicly available data from meteorological stations around the world. NASA released recently the latest global temperature change data, indicating that 2018 was the fourth warmest year on record. Also today, NASA releases the analysis up to February 2019. FAO complements this information, in cooperation with GISS, by releasing temperature change data by country, currently over the period 1961–2018, with respect to the 1951-1980 climatology. The FAO data show that the global mean temperature change over land in 2018 was 1.19˚ C, also the fourth warmest on record.


But for several countries, including Italy, FAO host nation, 2018 was the warmest year on record, with annual temperature 1.59 ˚C warmer than normal. Overall, more than one hundred countries and territories had an annual mean temperature change greater than 1.0 ˚C, while more than fifty had mean annual warming above 1.5 ˚C.


The data provide information on monthly, seasonal and annual mean temperature anomalies, i.e., temperature changes with respect the reference 1951-1980 climatology. For each country, the domain also disseminates – when a minimum of 20 years of data is available – the standard deviation of the reported monthly, seasonal and annual data.

The FAOSTAT nationally-aggregated data are based on the publicly available GISSTEMP data, the Global Surface Temperature Change data produced and distributed by NASA-GISS, with information from the year 1880 onward.

The original GISTEMP analysis generates a set of gridded values based on observed data from over 7,000 meteorological stations situated around the globe. A finer grid was generated for the purpose of the FAOSTAT dataset, and subsequently aggregated at country level using the FAO Global Administrative Unit Layer (GAUL). More details on the methodology can be found in FAOSTAT.


Increases in air temperature associated with climate change threaten plant growth and yield, putting millions of farmers and communities at risk throughout the world. Together with changes in precipitation and increases in extreme events such as flooding and droughts, temperature change threatens countries’ food security, and their ability to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development. Based on scientifically robust information, the FAOSTAT Temperature change database can be used to illustrate the recent warming trends in countries, facilitating public understanding of the climate change challenges to agriculture, and helping to identify possible responses necessary to minimize risk to food production.











How are Countries feeling the heat?

Number of countries and territories that experienced an unusually cold or warm year. This should be a chance of about once in twenty years under normal climate conditions, with equal probability of cold or warm events.
Number of countries and territories that experienced an extremely unusual cold or warm year. This should be a chance of less than once in one hundred years under normal climate conditions, with equal probability of cold or warm events.