It’s Getting Hot in Here

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The year 2010 may have had a La Niña and little solar activity—two factors that help to cool the planet—but it was record breaker for heat, tying 2005 as the hottest year on record. Record-setting or near-record-setting years are now common; after 2010 and 2005 comes 2009, virtually tied with 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007.

To help visualize the heat, NASA recently released the movie above showing global temperature anomalies (the difference in temperature compared with the average for 1951 to 1980) from 1880 through 2010, thus driving home a single point: our planet is getting warmer.