The Met Office has let loose some preliminary data from the world temperature monitoring effort for 2011, which has shown the lowest average global temperature since 1997 at 14.36 degrees Celsius.
It's encouraging news as global temperatures hit their highest ever average recorded temperature in 1998, but even dropping to 14.36C means they're still well-over levels recorded in 1950. Last year was one of the warmest individual years on record, with each decade having been shown to be warmer than the last for over 50 years.
Even though 2011 seems to have taken a small dip, it still ranks as the 11th warmest year since records began. So, it's important to realise that global climate change is a real issue for us right now, and is something we all need to do something about. Hopefully 2011 will mark the first step to reducing global average temperatures. [The Met Office via The Register]
Image credit: Thermometer image from Shutterstock