Global Surface Temperature Trends

The global average surface temperature fluctuates over time, but recently it has increased dramatically. From 1920 to the present, the Earth’s average surface temperature has increased by around 1.4 °F. The current warming trend is proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in at least the past 1,300 years. (IPCC AR4)

The sharpest rise occurred between 1975 and 2010, when temperature rose steadily by over 1 °F. The graph below holds 1880-1920 as the baseline climate period and temperatures are expressed as the difference from that era.