NASA scientists say 2012 was the ninth warmest of any year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures. With the exception of 1998, the nine warmest years in the 132-year record all have occurred since 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the hottest years on record. NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which monitors global surface temperatures on an ongoing basis, released an updated analysis recently that shows how Earth continues to experience warmer temperatures than several decades ago. It shows that the average global temperature has risen almost 1.5 degrees F since 1880. Scientists emphasize that weather patterns always will cause fluctuations in average temperature from year to year, but the continued increase in greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere, driven by human activities, assures a long-term rise in global temperatures, with each successive decade to be warmer than the previous decade. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps heat and largely controls Earth’s climate. Atmospheric levels of it have been rising consistently for decades, from 285 parts per million in 1880 to more than 390 parts per million today.
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NASA Finds 2012 Sustained Long-Term Climate Warming Trend