Global Warming Trend
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Global Warming Trend

April 27, 2004
Since 1981, scientists have used the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), flying aboard the NOAA series of polar-orbiting satellites, to record the Earth's land skin temperature. Unlike surface-based measures that typically use thermometers to record air temperature between 2 and 3 meters (6 to 9 feet) above the surface, skin temperature refers to temperature readings right at the the land surface (although it can refer to temperature measures at the top of the trees in areas where the forest canopy is thick). In this image, the colors represent the Earth's average temperature for the month of July for a 17-year period (from 1982-98). Yellow shows the warmest areas, as high as 45°C (113°F), while light blue and white shows the coldest areas, as low as minus 15°C (5°F).

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