Climate scientists generally agree that the earth actually cooled between 1940 and 1970, before beginning the well-publicized dramatic increase, according to NASA. Similarly, until the last couple of years, Antarctica actually experienced decades of moderate sea ice growth, NASA has further determined.
Now, NASA reports that the average global temperature on Earth has increased about 1.4 degrees since 1880, with two-thirds of the warming occurring since 1975. Sixteen of the 17 warmest years in the last 136 years all have occurred since 2001, with the exception of 1998. The year 2016 ranks as the warmest on record.
In the United States, temperatures across the U.S. continue rising, except in portions of the Southeast, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. However, portions of the Southeast have seen little increase in surface air temperatures, or even a slight decrease. Globally, every decade since 1960 has been warmer than the last, and the last three decades each have been the warmest on record. The U.S. saw its second warmest January through June in 2017, only slightly behind the record year of 2012. NASA explains that a change in temperature of 2 degrees Celsius, or about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit, could mean that heat waves will last longer, rainstorm intensity will increase, and coral reefs could be wiped-out.
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