2012 was the ninth warmest year since 1880.
The map at the top depicts temperature anomalies, or changes, by region in 2012; it does not show absolute temperature. Reds and blues show how much warmer or cooler each area was in 2012 compared to an averaged base period from 1951–1980. For more explanation of how the analysis works, read World of Change: Global Temperatures.
The average temperature in 2012 was about 14.6 degrees Celsius (58.3 degrees Fahrenheit), which is 0.55°C (1.0°F) warmer than the mid-20th century base period. The average global temperature has increased 0.8°C (1.4°F) since 1880, and most of that change has occurred in the past four decades.
Read more: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=80167&src=eoa-iotd