Earth System Trend

Surface Temperature

UNIT: Degrees Celsius

Getting ill is no fun. Your temperature rises just a little but you feel terrible. Our planet is getting warmer. In the short term this means wet areas are likely to get wetter and dry areas drier. Extreme weather may hit some places. In the long term, rising temperatures will threaten vulnerable societies, crop production, coastal cities and even the existence of a global civilization. Our actions may push the climate – or parts of the system such as ice sheets, rainforests or ocean circulations – past thresholds, where the behavior becomes unstable.

Graph Caption: Global surface temperature anomaly (HadCRUT4: combined land and ocean observations, relative to 1961-1990, 20 y Gaussian smoothed).
Source: P. Jones, Climatic Research Unit, UK in conjunction with the Hadley Centre (UK).