NASA offers a climate time machine that takes viewers on a temporal tour of the past 130 years of temperatures.
From the chilly days of the 1880s to the scorching 2000s, the progress of climate change becomes even more alarmingly rapid in this timelapse video produced by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).
"We know the planet is absorbing more energy than it is emitting," said GISS Director James E. Hansen in a press release. "So we are continuing to see a trend toward higher temperatures. Even with the cooling effects of a strong La Niña influence and low solar activity for the past several years, 2011 was one of the 10 warmest years on record."
In fact, 2011 was the ninth warmest year on record, with 2010 taking the trophy for warmest year ever recorded. Hansen believes the temperature records set by the past decade won't stand for long. When the Pacific Ocean moves into an El Niño phase and solar activity increases, the temperatures will likely spike above the already disturbingly warm past decade.