How Earth’s Temperature is Changing - Past 150 Years History

Direct thermometer based readings from around the earth for the past 150 years show that the earth is getting warmer. This is reflected in the graph show below which indicates the rise in average temperature of earth in the last 150 years.

How Earth’s Temperature is Changing - Past 150 Years Trend

During the last 150 years, earth’s average temperature has increased and earth has slowly become warmer, mostly between the years 1910 and 1940. Not much change occurred prior to that, from 1850 to 1910. From 1940 to 1975, there was a slight cooling trend, probably related to increased sunlight reflecting from the atmosphere, as industrialization evolved along with the air pollution that it generated following World War II. Beginning with the 1970s, the pace picked up. The average global temperature increased more rapidly—at a rate of 0.2°C (.36°F) per decade. The warmest years on record are the most recent.

Hundred years ago, the average temperature of the earth was about 13.7°C (56.5°F). Today, it is closer to 14.4°C (57.9°F). At first, this may not seem like a very large change. But the earth’s temperature usually takes many centuries to change by as much as a degree.

During the last ice age, the earth’s temperature was only about 5°C (9°F) lower than present-day global average temperature. A past interglacial warm period, during which sea levels were about 4–6 m (13–20 ft) higher than present levels, was, on average, about 5°C (9°F) warmer than today. At the rate that the earth is warming currently, substantial global climate changes very well may have been set in motion.