All Weather News

How Have Global Temperature Records Changed From 1850 to Present


The animated spiral presents global temperature change in a visually appealing and straightforward way. The pace of change is immediately obvious, especially over the past few decades. T

1. Features you can see:

1877-78: strong El Nino event warms global temperatures

1880s-1910: small cooling, partially due to volcanic eruptions

1910-1940s: warming, partially due to recovery from volcanic eruptions, small increase in solar ouput and natural variability

1950s-1970s: fairly flat temperatures as cooling sulphate aerosols mask the greenhouse gas warming

1980-now: strong warming, with temperatures pushed higher in 1998 and 2016 due to strong El Nino events

2. Why start in 1850? Because that is when the HadCRUT4 dataset starts, as we don’t have enough temperature data before then to reliably construct global average temperature

3. What do the colors mean? The colors represent time. Purple for early years, through blue, green to yellow for most recent years. The color scale used is called ‘viridis’ and the graphics were made in MATLAB.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *