The amazing image of the day here is is Figure S3 from the supplementary material of Marcott et al, A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years, in the current issue of Science. They combined 73 proxy records of temperature from around the globe - mainly from marine sediments - and used a Monte Carlo analysis to estimate the uncertainties. The result is the above picture of the entire Holocene - the period in which agriculture and civilization have arisen on this planet for the first time - together with the spike of the Anthropocene on the right - the period of major human impact on the climate.
Note that the authors' work suggests that global temperature has not yet exceeded the mid-Holocene optimum, but obviously that is going to change in a hurry:
Our results indicate that global mean temperature for the decade 2000–2009 has not yet exceeded the warmest temperatures of the early Holocene (5000 to 10,000 yr B.P.). These temperatures are, however, warmer than 82% of the Holocene distribution as represented by the Standard5×5 stack, or 72% after making plausible corrections for inherent smoothing of the high frequencies in the stack (Fig. 3). In contrast, the decadal mean global temperature of the early 20th century (1900–1909) was cooler than >95% of the Holocene distribution under both the Standard5×5 and high-frequency corrected scenarios. Global temperature, therefore, has risen from near the coldest to the warmest levels of the Holocene within the past century, reversing the long-term cooling trend that began ~5000 yr B.P. Climate models project that temperatures are likely to exceed the full distribution of Holocene warmth by 2100 for all versions of the temperature stack (Fig. 3), regardless of the greenhouse gas emission scenario considered (excluding the year 2000 constant composition scenario, which has already been exceeded). By 2100, global average temperatures will probably be 5 to 12 standard deviations above the Holocene temperature mean for the A1B scenario based on our Standard5×5 plus high-frequency addition stack.