Touch the ground and you will feel the land surface temperature. Satellites can also measure this temperature from space, and that data is plotted here. Though related, land surface temperature is not the same as air temperature since the land surface heats and cools more quickly than air. Land surface temperature is also greatly influenced by land use and cover-- bare, un-vegetated lands such as deserts are able to heat up to much greater temperatures than areas at the same latitude that are forested. This data is extensively used for modeling weather and climate, along with applications such as agriculture.
This visualization was generated from an archive of Science On a Sphere’s Land Surface Temperature dataset. It was created to support the release of the Global Climate Report - June 2020, which is produced by NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information.