This is the geographical breakdown of regional temperature anomalies around the Earth per year. Each temperature anomaly is the difference between the average yearly surface temperature and its pre-industrial baseline for that area. The pre-industrial baseline is calculated as the average temperature from 1850 to 1900.Yearly Average Temperature Anomaly
The regional temperature anomalies on a yearly average are a result of many underlying factors:
The Yearly Temperature Anomaly Distribution is important because not all areas of the Earth are warming equally, and not all areas respond the same to the warming. For example, the polar regions are warming faster than the global average, which accelerates the ice melt. Understanding regional temperature increases will be one of many crucial factors for humanity’s ability to deal with regional and global climate change disasters.
Degree Celsius (°C) or degree Fahrenheit (°F) per year per area. Each dot represents an area of approximately 180 km by 180 km, which is around 32,000 km².Wikipedia: Degree Celsius
The poles are warming faster due to polar amplification. In 2012, the warming at the North Pole was extreme. In almost all years since 2000, the effect has been clearly visible.Wikipedia: Polar amplification
The northern hemisphere warms faster than the southern hemisphere. Different types of land cover, like ocean, land and ice, cause differences in regional warming. For example, the southern hemisphere is dominated by oceans and is warming more slowly than the northern hemisphere, which has a lot of land mass.
Greenhouse gases cause global warming, but regional emissions do not specifically warm those regions because greenhouse gases spread quickly around the world.Wikipedia: Greenhouse gas emissions
The year 1864 offers a good example of a year with many blank, dark areas with not enough data or confidence to calculate average temperatures. After 1950, you can see almost no blank areas, which means that the scientific confidence and technological benefits of observing our planet significantly improved.
In 2016 and 2020, you can see some of the highest anomalies so far. These are the warmest years since the pre-industrial era and have the highest global and regional anomalies. They are full of orange, red and violet areas, representing anomalies up to 8 °C (14.4 °F). Such high levels can only be observed in the last few decades.
The year 1904 is an example of a cold year, where the majority of the globe is colored blue.
In 1964 you can explore a rather cool year, which occurred during a period of global dimming.Wikipedia: Global dimming
We use Berkeley Earth data, which is taken from a huge number of weather stations on land, ships, buoys and more. As explained in the insights above, the data from the earlier years have many regions with unknown values.
The value for the current year is actually the average for the last available 12 months. For example, in March we include values since the previous April. This approach allows us to include the latest data for a full year and avoids showing possibly misleading values for shorter time periods.
Temperature Data Berkeley Earth
Credits: Rohde, R. A. and Hausfather, Z.: The Berkeley Earth Land/Ocean Temperature Record, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 12, 3469–3479, https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-12-3469-2020, 2020.Update cycle: monthlyDelay: ~ 1 month
Elevation maps, land and water mask, earth surface textures, cloud textures Shaded Relief
Credits: Shaded Relief, Tom Patterson
Surface textures, cloud textures NASA Visible Earth