List of Warmest Years on Record Globally

9 of the top 10 hottest years globally have occurred over the past decade, when measured using three different global temperature data sets. The top 20 warmest years have all occurred during the last 24 years.

How do the record high temperatures over the spring and summer in the US compare on a global basis? While numerous articles on global temperature trends exist [1], I decided to go to the primary temperature data sources to find out. Below I have created a list of the 20 warmest years on record globally, using three data sets: NASA GISS, the UK Meteorogical Office, and NOAA / UAH [2]. While the three data sets vary in length from 40 to 150 years, the 20 warmest years turn out to have all occurred in the last 24, making it possible to construct an average temperature for the hottest 20 years.

Rank Year Global Avg Temp (F) [3]
1 2010 58.28
2 1998 58.22
3 2005 58.15
4 2007 58.06
5 2002 58.05
6 2009 58.04
7 2003 58.03
8 2006 58.02
9 2011 57.98
10 2004 57.90
11 2001 57.89
12 2008 57.75
13 1995 57.70
14 1997 57.68
15 1999 57.65
16 1990 57.64
17 1991 57.64
18 2000 57.64
19 1988 57.59
20 1987 57.54

Since this is a divisive topic prone to political obfuscation, it’s worth noting that both the NASA Goddard Institute and the UK Meteorological Office officially support the theory of anthropogenic global-warming, while the research scientist responsible for the University of Alabama-Huntsville data set does not support this theory.

[1] This has been a popular topic: Economist, Live Science, ArsTechnica, Science Daily, and Wikipedia

[2] Here are the original data sets:

GISS Data: and moving and storage

NOAA/UAH: builder online/

Hadley Meteorological Centre UK:

[3] The data in this blog post was constructed by averaging data from the three underlying data series. The NASA GISS estimate of global mean baseline temperature of 14 degrees Celsius was used to adjust the temperature deltas provided by the original data series in order to show global mean temperature in Fahrenheit terms here.

Here is my excel spreadsheet with data and calculations.

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  1. TheTracker said

    Dr Roy Spencer does “support” the theory of anthropogenic global warming. Where he differs from the mainstream, in terms of his scientific beliefs, is in estimating a very low sensitivity of the climate to carbon dioxide.

    Almost no qualified scientists deny the basic theory of global warming, which is:

    1. We (humans) are adding long-lived greenhouses gases to the atmosphere.
    2. They are warming the planet.

    The people you find denying this are not scientists. In general, the controversy about AGW in the media and in the political discourse is ideological, like the opposition to Darwinism, the anti-vaccine movement, or the people that deny we landed on the moon.

    There are of course many areas of significant scientific debate and uncertainty, but these center not around “happening” and “not happening” but typically around how much, how fast, how bad.

    As an economics-type person you may want to Google “Nordhaus,” who’s written a number of papers on costs. I have a little amateur overview of some of the climate change cost literature here:

  2. n8r0n said

    The two guys who manage the Alabama Huntsville effort are both devout Christians.

    Sorry, but if you believe in magical beings who conjure the world into existence, with no evidence of this fairy tale’s validity (the Bible is not evidence, it’s testimony), then you’re not really qualified to do difficult science.

    You either believe in the scientific method, or you believe in magic.

    The denialism with respect to climate change is based on two major factors:

    1) religion. if you think there’s a God who gave you dominion over the earth, then obviously, you’re free to pollute it as you see fit. some religious people also see it as “it would be arrogant for us to think that we can change God’s wonderful creation in any noticeable way”.

    2) libertarianism, or as I like to call it “you’re not the boss of me”. libertarians just don’t ever want to be told that something they’re doing might be harmful, and thus maybe they should do less of it. it’s beyond childish.

  3. [...] you look at this global temperature list, and add 2012 to the top,(the authors have not already), you see a point I’ll drive [...]

  4. Estima8z said

    And some religios people see it as, “Wow, we were given something great and have corrupted it with outr our industriousness, laziness and pride. Unfortunately, a poor understanding of others leads to ignorance. 1st and formost, most Christians do care about this planet. I would amagine that if you really looked hard, you would find that much more anti-creation scientist are doing harm to this planet then Christians. Furthermore, some of the most conciencious scientists are beleivers! My christian perspective, is definilty leaning towards a global warming trend, that would, very likely, be related to our activities. Where my perspective differes from the journals is in the source. I do beleive in the “understandings” shared about the greenhouse gasses is a important component. But the real energy needed to heat this planet up is coming from the our desire to harness the power of the universe, nuclear. The amount of atomic weapons testing done since the mid 40′ and the 600 nuclear reactors spread around the planet, releasing HUGE amounts of energy in the form of latent heat is not onlyy warming the rivers and oceans, but also the atmosphere!. The insulating gasses, ensure that all that heat doesn’t leave. Will you consider that in a scientific, objective, truth seaking manner?

  5. […] 14 1997 57.68 15 1999 57.65 16 1990 57.64 17 1991 57.64 18 2000 57.64 19 1988 57.59 20 1987 57.54 List of Warmest Years on Record Globally | True Cost – Analyzing our economy, government policy, and… Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." — George Orwel […]

  6. […] the warmest 12 years on record. And the 20 warmest years on record have all occured since 1987. List of Warmest Years on Record Globally | True Cost – Analyzing our economy, government policy, and… Just absolutely amazing how stupid your posts […]

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