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How hot is it outside? The year 2012 was the ninth warmest in a NASA analysis of global temperatures that stretches back to 1880. In itself, that sounds fairly unremarkable. But, as climate scientists note, what’s important is the long-term trend. The 10 hottest years in the 132-year record have all occurred since 1998, and nine of the 10 have occurred since 2002.

“What matters is, this decade is warmer than the last decade, and that decade was warmer than the decade before,” said Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. “The planet is warming.”

To read about NASA’s analysis of global temperatures, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012-temps.html

To see a NASA visualization of global temperatures from 1880 to the present, visit: NASA | NASA's Analysis of 2012 Global Temperature

To follow a new NASA project that will highlight the agency’s climate research in 2013, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/climate365
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