Climate Change: Global Temperature

Visualizing Global Temperature Change:  “Small multiples” global temperature changes 1850-2017

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Mapping global temperature change 

Surface Air Temperature

  • 2018*:  +1.16oC (2.09oF) above 1850-1900 pre-industrial baseline average temperature
  • 4th warmest year on Earth since 1850
  • 6th warmest year in the Arctic
  • Global temperatures have risen at a rate of +0.19oC/decade (+0.34oF) since 1980
  • 1.5 oC will be reached by 2035 at current rates
  • Surface air temperatures in the Arctic continued to warm at twice the rate relative to the rest of the globe.
  • Arctic air temperatures for the last five years (2014-2018) have exceeded all previous records since 1900
  • Surface air temperatures in the Arctic continued to warm at twice the rate relative to the rest of the globe.
  • Arctic air temperatures for the last five years (2014-2018) have exceeded all previous records since 1900
  • Source: (NOAA Arctic)

*Source: Berkeley Earth Land+Ocean Dataset

Visualizing Global Temperature Change:  Ed Hawkins’ global temperature spiral


Click!  Global temperature change gif  (Ed Hawkins)

     

Agreement about the rise in global temperatures comes from multiple groups around the world…


Yearly global surface temperature from 1900–2017 compared to the 1981-2010 average (dashed line). The different colors represent different research groups’ analysis of the historical temperature record. NOAA Climate.gov graph adapted from State of the Climate in 2017Details on the datasets can be found in Table 2.1 and Figure 2.1 in the report.   Global Surface Temperature

Yearly global surface temperature from 1900–2017 compared to the 1981-2010 average (dashed line). The different colors represent different research groups’ analysis of the historical temperature record. NOAA Climate.gov graph adapted from State of the Climate in 2017. Details on the datasets can be found in Table 2.1 and Figure 2.1 in the report.  

Arctic Surface Air Temperatures (NOAA Arctic)

At +1.7° C, the mean annual surface air temperature (SAT) anomaly for October 2017-September 2018 for land stations north of 60° N is the second highest value (after 2016) in the record starting in 1900.  Currently, the Arctic is warming at more than twice the rate of global mean temperatures; a phenomenon known as Arctic Amplification.  Recorded annual mean Arctic temperatures over the past five years (2014-18) all exceed previous records.


Arctic (land stations north of 60° N) and global mean annual land surface air temperature (SAT) anomalies (in °C) for the period 1900-2018 relative to the 1981-2010 mean value.

It’s not just Berkeley Earth documenting global temperature…

Other scientific groups around the world document similar global temperature trends

      Global temperatures have been trending upwards, above the long-term average for more than 40 years.


The graph shows average annual global temperatures since 1880  (source data) compared to the long-term average (1901-2000). The zero line represents the long-term average temperature for the whole planet; blue and red bars show the difference above or below average for each year. NOAA Global Temperature Change

The period since 2015 has seen some of the warmest years since 1850. The probability distribution shown below clarifies this; note how 2016 was markedly warmer on average than earlier years.


Probability distribution on the mean temperature anomalies reveals 2015-2018 as a period of significant warmth well above all previous years since 1850.

Distribution of warming is uneven, but as in previous years, 2018 was characterized by very strong warming over the Arctic that significantly exceeds the Earth’s mean rate of warming.


44% of the Earth had “Very High” or higher temperatures in 2018.  If we lived in a world characterized by a stable climate, only 2.5% of the Earth would have been expected to have these temperatures.

Surface air temperature 2018:  Concurrent heat events (see

Source:  Vogel, M. M., Zscheischler, J., Wartenburger, R., Dee, D., & Seneviratne, S. I. (2019). Concurrent 2018 hot extremes across Northern Hemisphere due to human-induced climate change. Earth’s Future, 7. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019EF001189 (See table below)

  • Twenty-two percent of populated and agricultural areas of the Northern Hemisphere concurrently experienced hot extremes between May and July 2018 
  • Record-breaking temperatures occurred concurrently in multiple regions including North America, Europe, and Asia in late spring/summer 2018.
  •  Europe experienced late spring and summer temperatures that were more than 1◦C warmer than 1981–2010
  • The contiguous United States had the warmest May since 1895, and the hottest month ever observed was in July in Death Valley.
  • The 2018 hot temperatures are in line with an increase in intensity and frequency of extreme heat events over many regions on land and in the ocean in recent years.
  • It is virtually certain that these 2018 north hemispheric concurrent heat events could not have occurred without human-induced climate change
  • We would experience a GCWH18-like event* nearly 2 out of 3 years at +1.5 ◦C and every year at +2 ◦C global warming
  • Results further reveal that the average high-exposure area projected to experience concurrent warm and hot spells in the Northern Hemisphere increases by about 16% per additional +1 ◦C of global warming.

*the temporal average between May and July 2018 as considered Global Concurrent Warm and Hot 2018 event, in short, GCWH18 extreme event.


Approximate locations of heat-related impacts in the northern midlatitudes (above 30north).
The impacts are categorized according to heat impact (cross, purple text), fires (fire, red text), agricultural and ecological damages (wheat, orange text), damages to infrastructure (railway track, brown text), and impacts on power production reduction/shortage (warning signal, blue text).


Detailed heat-related impacts per country. The color refers to the categories in (a).  References for each heat-related impact and original table available at Vogel, et al.(see above)

Business As Usual Projections of Global Surface Temperature Will Push Global Temperatures Above 1.5 degrees C by 2035.


2 oC, often suggested as a risky,“next best” global temperature (2 degrees Celsius) will be reached by around 2060.

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