Jan. 16 - According to NASA, 2012 was among the top 10 warmest years in the modern global record. Their scientists say the latest findings, when compared to records dating back more than 130 years, demonstrate a continuing long-term trend of rising global temperatures. Ben Gruber reports.
NASA scientists say that 2012 was the 9th warmest year since records began in 1880. The announcement comes less than a week after 2012 was declared the hottest ever in the United States. The scientists say the global surface temperature was 1 degree Fahrenheit warmer than the average in the mid 20th century. And with these higher temperatures have come extreme weather conditions. 2012 saw thousands of wildfires across the planet with Australia still battling some of the worst bush fires in its history. High temperatures and extreme drought conditions were also reported around the world. NASA predicts a long-term trend of rising global temperatures. In this graphic animation released by the agency, global temperatures are seen gradually rising from 1880 and starting to spike in the late 1990's. NASA says that all ten of the warmest global temperatures on record have occurred since 1998. The report says that levels of greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat and affect Earth's climate, have been consistently rising for decades. The recent spike in greenhouse gas levels is due in part to emissions from fast-developing countries like China and India, where energy demands have led to the increased use of fossil fuels. NASA says the planet is warming and that analysis shows it will continue to do so…making fires like these even more likely in the years ahead.