Climate Dashboard

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Tracking the Changing Climate with Earth Observations

Indicators of change

The climate is a complex system and it is changing fast. It can be hard to keep track of what is going on. We have put together a dashboard which gathers together the key indicators of climate change.

The indicators are based on earth observations made at surface stations, by ships and buoys at sea, from satellites and by observers and research teams around the world. These earth observing networks are crucial for understanding the changing climate.

There are many data sets out there providing useful information. As well as the data sets produced by the Met Office Hadley Centre, we have brought together data from respected institutes and research groups around the world to provide a more complete picture of what's happening in the climate.

The front page shows the main indicators. Beneath each one there is additional detail, drilling down into why the indicator is important, how it has changed and how it was calculated. The pages also link through to the data so that you can explore for yourself.

Graph showing change in carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. A number of datasets are shown including the iconic Mauna Loa carbon dioxide record.

Greenhouse gases

Sep 2021: 413.3ppm

The increase in the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has led to a long-term increase in global temperature. The pre-industrial concentration of CO2 was around 280 ppm.

Graph showing change in global mean temperature. A number of data sets are shown and agreement between the data sets is good.

Global temperature

Sep 2021: 1.15±0.06°C

Global temperature has increased by 0.8°C since the start of the 20th century. The past six years were the warmest six years on record.

Graph showing Ocean Heat Content change.

Ocean heat content

Jun 2021: 14.0x1022J

Around 90% of the energy trapped by greenhouse gases goes into the oceans. The long-term warming of the oceans is an important contribution to sea level rise.

Graph showing Arctic sea ice extent.

Sea-ice extent

Sep 2021: -1.5 million km2

Since satellite records began, sea-ice extent has decreased in the Arctic in all months and till 2016, increased slightly in the Antarctic.

Graph showing change in global mean sea level

Sea level

Sep 2020: 92.5mm

Global average sea level has risen by approximately 3 mm/year since satellite measurements began in 1993.

Graph showing Nino 3.4 index

Climate modes

El Niño is one of the largest sources of year-to-year variability

Climate modes describe major patterns of variability in the climate.