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Late 20th century was warmest in 1,400 years

Published on Apr 22, 2013 6:17 AM
A Palestinian farmer collects wheat in her family's field during the annual harvest season outside the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on April 20, 2013. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Earth was cooling until the end of the 19th century and a hundred years later, the planet's surface was on average warmer than at any time in the previous 1,400 years, according to climate records presented on Sunday.

In a study spanning two millennia published in Nature Geoscience, scientists said a "long-term cooling trend" around the world swung into reverse in the late 19th century.

In the 20th century, the average global temperature was 0.4 deg C higher than that of the previous 500 years, with only Antarctica bucking the trend.

From 1971-2000, the planet was warmer than at any other time in nearly 1,400 years.

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