Look carefully at the graphs and charts to analyze the data. Scientists gather and analyze data in order to draw valid conclusions. They find answers by studying objective data. Regardless of personal opinion or popular beliefs, scientists rely on precise data to lead them to correct answers and compelling solutions.
You will find many other sources of data in your research. Links to sites for information and data on global temperatures can be found in the Global Mean Temperatures Internet Resource section. These are some of many sites that provide reliable, scientific data. Make sure that your own sources are trustworthy, science-based sites; avoid sites sponsored by various interest groups that promote their potentially biased point of view.
Global Temperature Trends
The record of global average temperatures compiled by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The “zero” on this graph corresponds to the mean temperature from 1961-1990, as directed by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC).
1999-2008 Mean Temperatures
This figure shows the difference in surface temperatures from January 1999 through December 2008. The average increase on this graph is 0.48 degrees Celsius. The widespread temperature increases are considered to be an aspect of global climate change.
Temperature Anomalies 1880-2010
This graph depicts temperature anomalies from 1880-2010 from meteorological stations, showing both annual means and a five-year mean. The anomalies clearly show a trend of increasing temperatures starting in the 1970s.
Global Land-Ocean Temperature Index
This graph depicts temperature anomalies from meteorological stations, showing both annual means and a five-year mean from 1880-2010. Temperatures show a clear upward trend since the 1970s.
Surface Temperature Record
The graph illustrates average surface temperature measurements from data collected by the Hadley Centre of the UK Meteorological Office and the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. The graph also depicts a history of variations in the El Nino Southern Oscillation and the period of eruption of the Mount Pinatubo volcano.
Global Warming Projections
A graph of climate model predictions for global warming with data collected by the SRES A2 emissions scenario. The A2 scenario describes a politically and socially diverse world in which no special actions are taken to address global warming or environmental change issues. This 2100 world has large population, high energy use, and moderate levels of fossil fuel dependency.
Temperature Increase 2000 to 2100
This chart lists research centers, organizations, or laboratories which have conducted extensive global temperature studies. Their predicted inrease in global temperatures to the year 2100 are listed for both land and ocean environments. The data suggests land will warm more rapidly probably becasue of its lower specific heat.
The sources of data are listed below.
CCSR/NIES—Center for Climate System Research/National Institute for Environmental Studies
CCCma—Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis
CSIRO—Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Hadley Centre—Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research
GFDL—Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
MPI-M—Max Planck Institute fur Meteorologie
NCAR PCM—National Center for Atmospheric Research, PCM model
NCAR CSM—National Center for Atmospheric Research, CSM model
Global Warming Predictions
The graph shows the predicted temperature change because of global climate change as issued by the Hadley Centre climate model. The colors show predicted average temperature changes for 2070-2100. Notice the distinct warming difference between land and water. The strong warming around the Arctic Ocean is related to melting sea ice, and the strong warming in South America is related to El Nino cycles. (Models differ according to variables considered.)
Risks and Impacts of Global Warming
This Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) table of risks and impacts of global warming depicts an assessment of the relative impact and risks associated with global climate change. Five categories are assessed.The bars are color coded to show level of impact or concern for each factor as a function of temperature increase.
Global Climate Network Temperature Stations
The Global Historical Climatology Network is a primary reference for temperature data used for climatology research. This map shows 7,280 temperature stations coded by years of data records. “Active” sites update the database; historical sites have collected data but do not contribute to current data. The United States is the most densely instrumented region of the globe; Antarctica is the least. The longest record in the network collection began in Berlin in 1701 and continues to the present.
Annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Sector
Data sets from the Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research, version 3.2, Fast Track 2000 project. Use the top graphic to find out the sources and amounts for the greenhouse gases shown in the graphics at the bottom. For example, looking at carbon dioxide, 29.5% of the emissions (shown in red) come from power stations, and 19.2% of carbon dioxide emissions come from transportation fuels (as shown in gold).
Carbon Dioxide Variations
Scientists have drilled deep cores through the icecap in Antarctica. Measurements of CO2 captured in annual ice deposits in the cores allow scientists to reconstruct atmospheric CO2 variations over the last 400,000 years.
Notice the large variations in concentrations every 100,000 years. This occurs because of periodic changes in Earth's orbit.
Notice the additional graph inserted within the larger graph. This shows that CO2 abundance has increased steadily since the Industrial Revolution started in the 1700s and in the last 100 years has increased from about 275 parts per million (ppm) to about 375 ppm. This new high is greater than any CO2 measurement from the last 400,000 years. Is this evidence for natural CO2 variation or human-caused variation? Is there evidence for natural variation in these data?
Global Trends in Major Greenhouse Gases to 1/2003
The rise in greenhouse gas concentrations are believed to cause most of the increase in global temperatures during the last 50 years.
Carbon Dioxide Concentration and Flux
Top Graph: Measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide in ppm by volume.
Bottom Graph: Annual flux inward of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere.
The top graph shows carbon dioxide concentrations in parts per million by volume (ppmv) for both direct atmospheric measurements and ice core measurements for the years given in the bottom graph. The bottom graph depicts the amount of change inward of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere.
Annual Carbon Emissions
This graph shows the total atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations in million metric tons of carbon/year from 1800-2000. It also shows the atmospheric CO2 concentrations from varying fossil fuel sources as well as from cement production.
Economic Efficiency of Fossil Fuel Usage
The bar graph illustrates how efficiently the world’s 20 largest economies convert fossil fuel usage into a measure of wealth (their gross national product). Here, the measure is purchasing power in U.S. dollars over the number of kilograms of fossil fuel carbon released into the atmosphere each year. The two countries that produce the highest GDP per kilogram carbon, Brazil and France, rely much more on the alternative energy sources of hydroelectric power and nuclear power than other countries.
Fossil Fuel Usage per Capita
This graph shows fossil fuel consumption per capita for the 20 countries with the largest populations. U.S. consumption more than doubles that of the next highest user, Russia.
Indicators of the Human Influence on the Atmosphere During the Industrial Era
Global atmospheric concentrations of three well-mixed greenhouse gases. The data show a steep upward trend since the Industrial Revolution.
Atmospheric Concentrations of Carbon Dioxide
Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide dating back to some 647,000 years BC show a sharp spike upward in the mid to late 20th century.
Atmospheric Concentrations of Methane
Atmospheric concentrations of methane dating back to some 648,000 years BC show a sharp spike upward in the last few decades.
Aqua: Carbon Dioxide - Last 31 Days
To view this interactive image follow the below steps:
Step 1 - Go to http://climate.nasa.gov/Eyes/eyes.html#.
Step 2 - Click the Download button.
Step 3 - Select the Satellite Aqua either on the top scroll menu or on the globe.
Step 4 - On the right side bar under SHOW DATA MAP, select Carbon Dioxide - Last 31 Days.
Urban Heat Islands
By evaporating water, plants cool their surroundings. By replacing plants with impervious surfaces, cities trap heat and create a phenomenon known as the urban heat island. A variety of factors affect the urban heat island. Bigger cities tend to have stronger heat-trapping capacities than smaller cites. Cities surrounded by forest have more pronounced heat islands than do cities in arid environments. A study presented at the 2010 fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union found that a city’s layout—whether sprawling or compact—can also affect the potency of its urban heat island.
This image shows Buffalo, NY, on Aug. 3, 2002. Acquired by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper on NASA’s Landsat 7 satellite, they show temperature, ranging from blue (warm) to beige (hot). White lines delineate city limits. The researchers found that Buffalo has surface temperatures just 7.2 degrees Celsius (almost 13 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than its surroundings.
Earth Now: Air Temperature
NASA's Earth Now is an application that visualizes recent global climate data from Earth science satellites, including surface air temperature, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and water vapor as well as gravity and sea level variations. Data sets are visually described using "false color" maps. Color-coded legends are provided to indicate relative strength or weakness of an environmental condition. The resulting 3D model of the Earth may be rotated by a single finger stroke and may also be zoomed in or out by pinching two fingers. It was developed by the Earth Science Communications and Visualization Technology Applications and Development Teams at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, with support from NASA headquarters.