Heat Map Shows Clear Trend in Global Temperature Change

31.01.22 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 last nine years all appearing in the top ten hottest years ever recorded, we’ve put the last 143 years into context in this heatmap to show global temperature over time.

The chart below compares every month to the average temperature of that same month throughout the 20th Century, all the way back to 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.

More global heat records will fall and extreme weather will worsen, if climate change and the burning of coal, oil and gas continues unabated. We must transition away from fossil fuels to a net zero emissions world. Australia can become a powerhouse in the new economy, if it uses its world-class renewable resources, land abundance, workforce, and infrastructure. 2022 must be a turning point for climate action.

Fast Facts

We can expect these heat records to continue to fall over the coming decades. Should we fail to meet the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement, even narrowly, we can expect one out of every three years between now and 2050 to set all time global heat records, bringing ever-increasing risk to lives, livelihoods and the places we cherish. 

This brings the need to reduce emissions – particularly through reducing the production and consumption of coal, oil and gas – into stark relief. Current levels of global heating are already existential for many. We cannot afford to fail.

A visual representation of heat data over the past 140+ years. The image begins with dark blue colours, represneting cooler temps, then moves into red colours, as temperatures increase.