Earth, seen from Rosetta. Image credit: ESA

What is the Surface Temperature of Earth?

Article Updated: 26 May , 2016


The average temperature of Earth according to NASA figures is 15°C. The hottest temperature ever recorded on our planet was 70.7°C in the Lut Desert of Iran in 2005. On the other end of the spectrum, the coldest temperature recorded on Earth was in Vostok, Antarctica at -89.2 C. If it were not for the natural greenhouse gas effect of our atmosphere, our planet would plunge to a chilly zero on the Celsius scale.

Since we are talking about the average temperature of Earth, it would be a good time to list the average surface temperature of all of the planets along with a few other points of interest in the Solar System. All temperatures are given on the Celsius scale.

Mercury 66.85
Venus 461.85
Mars -63.15
Jupiter -108.15
Saturn -139.15
Uranus -197.15
Neptune -201.15
Pluto(demoted but not forgotten) -229.15
Eris -230.65
Charon(largest moon of Pluto) -220.15
Sedna -285.15
The Sun 5537.78

The temperature of most celestial bodies varies from the core out. In general, the temperature gets cooler the farther from the core. The main exception is a star. Our Sun for instance is has a temperature of 13599726.85 C at its core, a surface temperature of 5537.78 C, but its chromosphere has an average temperature of 11,976.85 C. Scientists can not explain this phenomenon. Scientists have never sent a probe to our planet’s core, but they estimate the temperature of the inner core to be 7000 C. The outer core is thought to be 4000 to 6000 C and the mantle, the area just below the Earth’s crust, is about 870 C. The temperature continues to steadily cool as you rise in the atmosphere.

As we all know, the temperature of Earth varies by location. The hottest areas are near the equator with the coldest being at the poles. To be more exact the hottest regions of the Earth are within 23 degrees north and 23 degrees south of the equator.

The average temperature of Earth has varied from the beginning of the Solar System. Ice ages have come and gone. There is current concern about an increased greenhouse effect caused by man. NASA is tracking average temperature increases around our planet, here is a chart displaying their observations.

We have written many articles about the Earth for Universe Today. Here are some interesting facts about planet Earth, and here’s an article about why Earth has seasons.

If you’d like more info on Earth, check out NASA’s Solar System Exploration Guide on Earth. And here’s a link to NASA’s Earth Observatory.

We’ve also recorded an episode of Astronomy Cast all about planet Earth. Listen here, Episode 51: Earth.

NASA Earth Observatory

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