Earth warmest for 12000 years
NASA scientists have published an article about the most recent measurements of global temperatures. Main conclusions:
- the Earth is warmer than it has been in the last 12000 years and within 1C of the maximum over the past million years
- the Earth has been warming at a rate of 0.2 C per decade for the last three decades
- the most prominent effect is on land on the Northern Hemisphere because of melting ice covers which induces a positive feedback by changing albedo
- the observations are consistent with predictions that climate scientists made in the 1980s
There is a movie (8.5 MB) on the NASA website which I find particularly illustrative. It shows global temperature changes from 1880 to 2005.