Global temperature anomalies. Animation showing average global temperature anomalies from 1880 to 2017. The final frame shows a five-year average from 2013 to 2017. The scale runs from dark red, indicating areas warmer than average, to dark blue, indicating areas colder than average. A long-term warming trend is clear with many more areas being warmer than average than cooler than average from the 1980s onwards. 2016 saw the warmest global surface temperatures since records began, with 2017 a close second. These global rises in temperature could melt the polar ice caps and cause severe drought in some areas.