Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time. Here we provide a broader perspective by reconstructing regional and global temperature anomalies for the past 11,300 years from 73 globally distributed records. Early Holocene (10,000 to 5000 years ago) warmth is followed by ˜0.7°C cooling through the middle to late Holocene (<5000 years ago), culminating in the coolest temperatures of the Holocene during the Little Ice Age, about 200 years ago. This cooling is largely associated with ˜2°C change in the North Atlantic. Current global temperatures of the past decade have not yet exceeded peak interglacial values but are warmer than during ˜75% of the Holocene temperature history. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model projections for 2100 exceed the full distribution of Holocene temperature under all plausible greenhouse gas emission scenarios.