And what does that mean? Well, the top 9 hottest years have occurred in the last 10 years... with 2010 competing for the top ranking. Would have made it too, if it hadn't been set up to be a cool year, according to solar activity and ocean currents... instead it was pretty much a record year for heat.
For Earth, December 2010 is tied with 1982 and 1994 as the 17th warmest December on record since 1880. December 2006 is the warmest December on record.
This data was released January 18, 2011 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its National Climate Data Center(NCDC) in the USA. Data is updated monthly.
Annually, 2010 is tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record.
More details about global temperature are available in the State of the Climate reports (Global Analysis) at the NOAA-NCDC website. These reports present preliminary, global data that has been gathered from monitoring stations and leading institutions around the world. The reports include a Global Hazards section that gives a global update on drought & wildfires, flooding, storms, severe winter weather, and ecosystems impacts. A Snow and Ice section reports on snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere and sea ice extent in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
More Info from NOAA-NCDC:
NOAA NDCC | State of the Climate Global Analysis | REPORT