The two hottest years on record; 2005, and 2007. Both in the last ten years. And from a geologic perspective, it is remarkably accelerated, as would be expected -- with some lag and general mid range variance -- from dramatically increased greenhouse gas concentration levels.
From Bloomberg News:
In 2003, 62 percent of the ocean’s ice cover was older, thicker ice, with 38 percent in seasonal layers, the researchers found. Five years later, 68 percent of the ice cap was made up of seasonal ice.That is, in five years, the amount of non seasonal, constant ice was reduced by about half.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):, the world’s ocean surface temperature just this past summer was "the warmest for any August on record, and the warmest on record averaged for any June-August."
More importantly, "breaking heat records in water is more ominous as a sign of global warming than breaking temperature marks on land.”
Additionally, over the past ten years, "daily record high temperatures occurred twice as often as record lows over the last decade across the continental United States":
If temperatures were not warming, the number of record daily highs and lows being set each year would be approximately even. Instead, for the period from January 1, 2000, to September 30, 2009, the continental United States set 291,237 record highs and 142,420 record lows, as the country experienced unusually mild winter weather and intense summer heat waves."Since the 1997 international accord to fight global warming, climate change has worsened and accelerated — beyond some of the grimmest of warnings made back then."
Not only has the last decade been the warmest decade on record, but the "ten warmest years on record have all occurred in the last eleven years."
And so on, ad infinitum.
But all this really does not matter that much. What does matter is the basic science, unpolluted by desire, ideological bent, politics, or fear of misplaced economic implications due to the glaring need for smarter energy development and agricultural practices.
Heat trapping gases make life as we know it on earth possible; without it the earth would be a largely lifeless ball of ice slowly circling the sun. Heat drives climate. Atmospheric concentrations of heat trapping gases (aka "greenhouse gases") are rising dramatically, and from a geologic perspective, at lightning speed, due to specific and easily identifiable anthropomorphic activities.