Chilling chart reveals how much the Earth has warmed since 1880 as global temperatures continue to rise

A chilling new graphic has put global warming into perspective.

Scientists have created a global temperature chart that maps the average monthly temperature from 1880 to 2015. 

The result shows that every single month has been warmer than the early industrial baseline for more than half a century.

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Scientists have created a global temperature chart that maps the average monthly temperature from 1880 to 2015

Scientists have created a global temperature chart that maps the average monthly temperature from 1880 to 2015

WHAT DOES THE CHART SHOW? 

Each month is represented by a box on the chart. 

Blue and white boxes depict months that were cooler than average, while orange and red boxes represent months that were hotter than average.

Brian Kahn from Climate Central said: ‘Cool blues have been disappearing, replaced by a wave of unending heat.

‘Climate change is likely to continue the streak of warmer than normal months into the foreseeable future as temperatures keep marching upward.’  

The map was created by Climate Central, based on Nasa and NOAA global temperature data, relative to a baseline of average global temperatures between 1881 and 1910.

On the chart, each month is represented by a box. 

Light blue colours depict months that were cooler than average, while red boxes represent months that were much hotter than average. 

In a blog showing the chart, Brian Kahn from Climate Central said: ‘Cool blues have been disappearing, replaced by a wave of unending heat. 

‘Climate change is likely to continue the streak of warmer than normal months into the foreseeable future as temperatures keep marching upward.’  

This isn’t the first time that global temperatures have been mapped to give a visual display of global warming. 

In September, the University of Reading mapped global temperature changes dating back to 1850, presenting a side-by-side view of the yearly anomalies. 

The start of the chart is predominantly blue and pale orange
The lower end of the map is dominated by red boxes

Blue and white boxes depict months that were cooler than average, while orange and red boxes represent months that were hotter than average

The visualisation compiles 167 maps, plotting every year from 1850 to 2016 using the HadCRUT4.4 dataset from the Met Office Hadley Centre.

The data show global historical surface temperature anomalies relative to a 1961-1990 baseline, with a colour scale of roughly -2.5°C to + 2.5°C.

In the maps, blue indicates cooler temperatures while red shows warmth. Those without enough data are coloured grey. 

In September, the University of Reading, mapped global temperature changes dating back to 1850, presenting a side-by-side view of the yearly anomalies 

In September, the University of Reading, mapped global temperature changes dating back to 1850, presenting a side-by-side view of the yearly anomalies 

‘The visualisation technique of “small multiples” is often used to communicate a simple message,’ Dr Ed Hawkins, who created the visualisation, wrote in a post for Climate Lab Book.

And, the message in this case is clear – over the years, surface temperatures have risen dramatically, especially since the 1990s.

In May, Dr Hawkins also revealed the ‘Spiralling global temperatures‘ animation, which shows how global temperatures have changed month-by-month between 1850 and 2016. 

In the maps, blue indicates cooler temperatures while red shows warmth, and, those without enough data are coloured grey
‘The visualisation technique of ‘small multiples’ is often used to communicate a simple message,’ Hawkins wrote in a post for Climate Lab Book

In the maps, blue indicates cooler temperatures while red shows warmth, and, those without enough data are coloured grey

JULY 2016 MARKED THE HOTTEST MONTH ON RECORD  

The July temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.57°F above the 20th century average of 60.4°F. 

This was the highest for July in the 1880–2016 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.11°F, the previous record holder for the warmest month on record. 

July 2016 marks the 40th consecutive July with temperatures at least nominally above the 20th century average. 

July 1976 was the last time July global land and ocean temperatures were below average. 

July 2016 had the lowest monthly global temperature departure from average since August 2015 and tied with August 2015 as the 15th highest monthly temperature departure among all months (1,639) on record. 

Forecasters said the global average temperature 'was the highest for both the month of July and for any month in the since 1880.'

Forecasters said the global average temperature ‘was the highest for both the month of July and for any month in the since 1880’

A similar animation even made an appearance at the Rio Olympics opening ceremony.

In the graphic, the global temperature change remains relatively small until the 1930s, but starts growing slowly after that.

When the GIF reaches the late 1990s, however, the temperature change increases considerably. 

 The animation shows how global temperatures have changed month-to-month since 1850 

Speaking to MailOnline, Dr Hawkins said: ‘I wanted to try to visualise the global changes we have seen in different ways to learn about how we might improve our communication.

‘The pace of change is immediately obvious, especially over the past few decades, and the relationship between current global temperatures and the internationally discussed limits are also clear.’

Within the animation it is also possible to see how global events such as the El Nino phenomenon alter temperatures around the world. 

An animation created by climate scientist Ed Hawkins has revealed how global temperatures have increased by year on year since 1850. It shows the global temperature change until 2016 (pictured)

An animation created by climate scientist Ed Hawkins has revealed how global temperatures have increased by year on year since 1850. It shows the global temperature change until 2016 (pictured)

Dr Hawkins used data from the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Centre. The graph above shows a more traditional representation of the data

Dr Hawkins used data from the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Centre. The graph above shows a more traditional representation of the data

For example, there is a small amount of cooling between the 1880s and 1910 due to volcanic eruptions before warming again between 1910 and the 1940s.

Dr Hawkins said this warming was due to a small increase in solar output and natural variability and recovery from the volcanic eruptions.

Temperatures also remain largely flat between the 1950s and the 1970s, he explained in his blog, because aerosols released into the atmosphere mask the impact of greenhouse gases.

HEATING UP THE WORLD’S OCEANS 

The amount of man-made heat energy absorbed by the seas has doubled since 1997.

Scientists have long known more than 90% of the heat energy from man-made global warming goes into the world’s oceans instead of the ground.

But in a recent study, researchers tracked how much man-made heat has been buried in the oceans in the past 150 years.

The world’s oceans absorbed approximately 150 zettajoules of energy from 1865 to 1997, and then absorbed about another 150 in the next 18 years, according to a study in the journal Nature Climate Change.

To put that in perspective, if you exploded one atomic bomb the size of the one that dropped on Hiroshima every second for a year, the total energy released would be two zettajoules.

So since 1997, Earth’s oceans have absorbed man-made heat energy equivalent to a Hiroshima-style bomb being exploded every second for 75 straight years.

But from 1980 there is strong warming with temperatures pushed particularly high in 1998 and 2016 due to strong El Nino events.

The researcher cautions that this technique is not meant to suggest the downfall of our planet, but instead to spur efforts toward reversing the human-induced damage.

Dr Hawkins said: ‘Some have used the graphic to suggest that temperatures are ‘spiralling out of control’, but I disagree – human activities are largely responsible for past warming so we do have control over what happens next.’ 

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