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By most indications, we are in a warming trend. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 1995 was the hottest year on record. The average temperature around the world was approximately 59.8° Fahrenheit, which is .8° higher than the average temperature for the years 1950 to 1980. And since the 1880s, the world's eight warmest years have all taken place since 1979.
On the other hand, annual average temperatures in the continental United States have varied from decade to decade, with no significant upward or downward trend throughout the century. The United States began the century with cool temperatures, the 1920s through 1950s were warm, the 1960s and 1970s were cool, and the 1980s were warm.
Sources: Ann Arbor News. July 14, 1996, pp. A1 + ; Chemical and Engineering News, vol. 70 (April 27, 1992), pp. 7-8; Famighetti, Robert, ed. The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1992, p. 206; Leggett, Jeremy. Global Warming, p. 18; Williams, Jack. The Weather Book, p. 186.
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