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[greenyes] Global Warming - Analysis of Long Term Trends
NY TIMES

February 10, 2005
2004 Was Fourth-Warmest Year Ever Recorded
By ANDREW C. REVKIN

ast year was the fourth warmest since systematic temperature measurements 
began around the world in the 19th century, NASA scientists said yesterday.

Particularly high temperatures were measured over Alaska, the Caspian Sea 
region of Europe and the Antarctic Peninsula, while the United States was 
unusually cool. But the global average continued a 30-year rise that is "due 
primarily to increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere," said Dr. James 
E. Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, in 
Manhattan.

The main source of such gases is smokestack and tailpipe emissions from 
burning coal and oil.

The highest global average was measured in 1998, when temperatures were 
raised by a strong cycle of El Niño in the Pacific Ocean; 2002 and 2003 were 
second and third warmest.

Dr. Hansen said a weak Niño pattern was likely to make 2005 at least the 
second warmest year and could push it beyond 1998 and set a record.

The unusual nature of the recent warming was corroborated separately 
yesterday by a new analysis of 2,000 years of indirect temperature records 
in tree rings, stalagmites, seabed layers, and other evidence from around 
the Northern Hemisphere.

That study, published in the journal Nature, found that previous peaks of 
warming, particularly during medieval times about 1,000 years ago, were as 
warm as the 20th-century average but that no spikes in the last 2,000 years 
matched the warming since 1990.



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