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First Five Months of 2010 Second Warmest on Record

Global Temperature Report: May 2010
First five months of 2010 second warmest on record
Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.14 C per decade
May temperatures (preliminary)
Global composite temp.: +0.53 C (about 0.95 degrees Fahrenheit) above
20-year average for May.
Northern Hemisphere: +0.78 C (about 1.40 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year
average for May.
Southern Hemisphere: +0.29 C (about 0.52 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year
average for April.
Tropics: +0.71 C (about 1.28 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for
May.
April temperatures (revised):
Global Composite: +0.50 C above 20-year average
Northern Hemisphere: +0.80 C above 20-year average
Southern Hemisphere: +0.20 C above 20-year average
Tropics: +63 C above 20-year average
(All temperature anomalies are based on a 20-year average (1979-1998) for
the month reported.)
Notes on data released June 7, 2010:
In the race to …

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Agricultural methods of early civilizations may have altered global climate

Massive burning of forests for agriculture thousands of years ago may have increased atmospheric carbon dioxide enough to alter global climate and usher in a warming trend that continues today, according to a new study that appears online Aug. 17 in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews.
Researchers at the University of Virginia and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County say that today’s 6 billion people use about 90 percent less land per person for growing food than was used by far smaller populations early in the development of civilization. Those early societies likely relied on slash-and-burn techniques to clear large tracts of land for relatively small levels of food production.
“They used more land for farming because they …

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