Thanks to Lester Brown for this overview of global temperature trends.
For a PDF of “A Planet on the Backburner” (courtesy of Eric Rimmer) see https://docs.google.com/a/populationmedia.org/fileview?id=0B5F-idWfw7TeYjU3YzQ2YzEtNzZlNS00OWI2LWEwOWQtMDFiMmY0ZWQ5ZmVm&authkey=COX_mpkJ&hl=en
The first decade of the twenty-first century was the hottest since recordkeeping began in 1880. With an average global temperature of 14.52 degrees Celsius (58.1 degrees Fahrenheit), this decade was 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.36 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than any previous decade. The year 2005 was the hottest on record, while 2007 and 2009 tied for second hottest. In fact, 9 of the 10 warmest years on record occurred in the past decade.
Temperature rise has accelerated in recent decades. The earth’s temperature is now 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than it was in the first decade of the twentieth century, and two-thirds of that increase has taken place since 1970.
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