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Earth Matters Blog: Why So Many Global Temperature Records?

You could hardly miss the media stories about how the past year ranked in terms of global temperatures. Astute readers may ask: how do different institutions come up with slightly different numbers for the same planet?
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Research at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies emphasizes a broad study of Global Change, the natural and anthropogenic changes in our environment that affect the habitability of our planet. These effects may occur on greatly differing time scales, from one-time forcings such as volcanic explosions, to seasonal/annual effects such as El Niño, and on up to the millennia of ice ages.

The Institute's research combines analysis of comprehensive global datasets, derived mainly from spacecraft observations, with global models of atmospheric, land surface, and oceanic processes. Study of past climate change on Earth and of other planetary atmospheres provides an additional tool in assessing our general understanding of the atmosphere and its evolution.

GISS is located at Columbia University in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City. You can learn more about the institute at the GISS website.

Contact Us

Dr. Larry D. Travis
Associate Chief [611]
Evelyn C Dejesus-Quiles

General inquiries about the scientific programs at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center may be directed to the Center Office of Communications at 1-301-286-8955.

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