The decade from 2001 to 2010 had the highest temperature ever recorded over a ten year period since the beginning of instrumental climate measurements.
20 January 2011: Based on data received by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 2010 ranked as the warmest year on record, equaling records set in 2005 and 1998.
The global average temperature was 0.53°C above the 1961-1990 mean, above both 2005 and 1998 but within a margin of uncertainty. WMO received data from the UK Meteorological Office Hadley Center, the US National Climatic Data Center, and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The WMO press release also notes that the 2001-2010 decade has the highest temperature ever recorded over a ten year period since the beginning of instrumental climate measurements. It highlights that the global average over the decade was 0.46°C above the 1961-1990 average, but that in some regions temperatures have been 1.4°C above average. WMO further reports that Northern Europe and Central and Eastern Australia were cooler than average in 2010. It also underlines the high number of extreme weather events, including severe floods in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Brazil and Australia, as well as a heatwave in the Russian Federation. [WMO Press Release]