2011 was the ninth warmest year since the start of modern meteorological records, in 1880. Well, you say, that’s 130 years. Warm years must have popped up every now and then. But, no, that’s not quite right. Nine of the 10 warmest years have occurred since 2000.
This new NASA video, which shows when temperatures change to warmer or colder than the average mid-20th century temperature. For about 75 years, hot spots pop up now and again—places like the Sahara are always hotter—but then, in the last 30 or so years, the place really starts to heat up.
In 2011, the average temperature around the entire planet was .92 degrees hotter than the baseline, which makes for a lovely orange glow when you view it on the map. There’s some tiny good news: This year was .22 degrees cooler than 2010, the hottest year ever. Still, it was quite hot, and that doesn’t mean it’s getting progressively cooler, we just got lucky. It will get hotter again.
Even in the dead of winter, watching the Earth heat up can make you start sweating.