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January 28, 2014
Long-Term Warming Trend Continued in 2013

A NASA analysis of global temperatures shows that 2013 was the seventh warmest year since 1880. Nine of the 10 warmest years have occurred since 2000.

This map depicts global temperature anomalies in 2013. It doesn’t show absolute temperatures, but rather how much warmer or cooler Earth was compared to an averaged base period from 1951 to 1980.

The global average temperature for 2013 was 14.6° Celsius (58.3° Fahrenheit), which is 0.6°C (1.1°F) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline. The average global temperature has risen about 0.8°C (1.4°F) since 1880. Exact rankings for individual years are sensitive to data inputs and analysis methods.

“Long-term trends in surface temperatures are unusual, and 2013 adds to the evidence for ongoing climate change,” said Gavin Schmidt, a Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) climatologist. “While one year or one season can be affected by random weather events, this analysis shows the necessity for continued, long-term monitoring.”

The GISS team assembles its analysis with publicly available data from roughly 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, ship-based and satellite observations of sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research station measurements.

Image courtesy of NASA.

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