It's Getting Hot in Here: 2010 Temperatures Hit Record High

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Global temperatures in 2010 tied 2005 for the warmest on record, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said Wednesday.

Last year's average temperature was about 1.34 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average global surface temperature from 1951 to 1980, NASA said. The next warmest years on record were 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007.

NASA's findings will likely further stir debate over whether human activity is increasing temperatures and jeopardizing global habitats. Some scientists say the warming is set to increase as developing countries expand their economies and produce more greenhouse gases.

"If the warming trend continues, as is expected, if greenhouse gases continue to increase, the 2010 record will not stand for long," James Hansen, the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in a statement.

Earlier this month, the 112th Congress disbanded the Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming. The committee, which was started four years ago by then House speaker Nancy Pelosi, held 80 hearings and briefings, taking on issues such as the 2009 climate bill, which was voted down by the Senate, and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil-rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

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