140-year heat map shows clear trend in global temperature change

20.01.20 By

Sometimes it’s hard to get a clear grasp on just how much the climate has changed and where we sit now, compared to the climate of the past.

With the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) announcement that 2019 was the second hottest year on record, we’ve decided to try to put the last 140 years into context.

The heat map below compares every month to the average temperature of that same month throughout the 20th Century, since 1880. So, for example, the temperature of each individual June is compared to the average of all 100 Junes between 1901 and 2000, each July is compared to 100-years of Julys, and so on.

For Australia, data from the Bureau of Meteorology shows that 2019 was not just the hottest year, but also the driest year on record.

Fast Facts

– 2019 was the second hottest year on record for the planet.

– The last six years are the six hottest years on record (in order: 2016, 2019, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2014).

– There have been nineteen years in the 21st Century, and all of them are in the top twenty hottest years on record. The other year in the top twenty is 1998, which sits at tenth.

A visual map showing the average temperatures of months of the year, ranging from blue (normal) to red (far above average).

Data source: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Climate at a Glance: Global Time Series, published January 2020, retrieved on January 18, 2020 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/