The global climate has been experiencing significant warming at an unprecedented pace in the past century. This warming is spatially and temporally non-uniform, and one needs to understand its evolution to better evaluate its potential societal and economic impact. Here, the evolution of global land surface air temperature trend in the past century is diagnosed using the spatial–temporally multidimensional ensemble empirical mode decomposition method. We find that the noticeable warming (>0.5 K) started sporadically over the global land and accelerated until around 1980.