Global Temperature Horse Race | 7 Warmest Years on Record

November Global Temperature Change*

Rankings: December 1880 - December 2015
Comparisons with 20th Century Global Average Surface Temperature



Change in

Warmest December
+1.11°C  +2.00°F
Coolest December
-0.57°C   -1.03°F
    Data retrieved:
January 20, 2016

*Surface temperature changes relative to 20th Century global average (1901 - 2000)
Source data  NOAA-NCEI State of the Climate: Global Analysis  [Web + data download]


December 2015 smashed all-time global average temperature records for all months since 1880 by deviating from the 20th Century average by 1.11°C.  This is the first time the deviation exceeded 1°C and it is the largest margin ever for breaking a prior record. [NOAA global analysis for December 2015 accessed January 20, 2016].


"The science is sobering—the global temperature in 2012 was among the hottest since records began in 1880. Make no mistake: without concerted action, the very future of our planet is in peril."

~ Christine Lagarde, Managing Director
International Monetary Fund


NOAA's global analysis for 2015 lists 2015 as the warmest year on record since 1880 at 0.90°C above the 20th Century average.  The year 2014 is the second warmest at 0.74°C above the average.  The year 2013 was the fourth warmest at 0.66°C above the average.  [NOAA global analysis for 2015 accessed January 20, 2016].

Before the end of 2015, scientists projected that average global temperature increase for 2015 will exceed 1°C above pre-industrial levels.  The years 1850-1990 are used as the pre-industrial baseline by the MET Office and Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the UK.  The MET Office released this statement in November 2015:


"This year marks an important first but that doesn't necessarily mean every year from now on will be a degree or more above pre-industrial levels, as natural variability will still play a role in determining the temperature in any given year.  As the world continues to warm in the coming decades, however, we will see more and more years passing the 1 degree marker - eventually it will become the norm."

~ Peter Stott
Head of Climate Monitoring and Attribution (MET Office)


>> Read More





NOAA NCEI State of the Climate: Global Analysis (Monthly)

NOAA NCEI State of the Climate: Global Analysis (Annual)

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