January 19, 2012
2011 Was Earth’s 9th Warmest Year On Record
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NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) said 2011 was the ninth warmest year on record since 1880.
GISS monitors global surface temperatures regularly, and it released and updated an analysis that shows temperatures in 2011 compared to the average global temperature from the mid-20th century.
It found that Earth is continuing to experience warmer temperatures than what was experienced in the 20th century.
The average temperature of the Earth in 2011 was 0.92 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the mid-20th century baseline.
"We know the planet is absorbing more energy than it is emitting," GISS director James E. Hansen said in a press release. "So we are continuing to see a trend toward higher temperatures. Even with the cooling effects of a strong La Nina influence and low solar activity for the past several years, 2011 was one of the 10 warmest years on record."
The GISS global temperature record began in 1880, a time at which the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere was about 285 parts per million. By 1960, the average concentration had rise to about 315 parts per million. The number today exceeds 390 parts per million.
The temperature analysis produced by GISS is compiled from weather data of over 1,000 meteorological stations around the world, satellite observations of sea surface temperature and Antarctic research station measurements.
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