Graphic: Hottest decade
The year 2012 was the ninth warmest in a NASA analysis of global temperatures that stretches back to 1880. In itself, that sounds fairly unremarkable. But, as climate scientists note, what’s important is the long-term trend. The 10 hottest years in the 132-year record have all occurred since 1998, and nine of the 10 have occurred since 2002.
"What matters is, this decade is warmer than the last decade, and that decade was warmer than the decade before," said Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “The planet is warming."
You can also find this graphic on NASA’s Climate 365 Tumblr page.