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Article
Nature 322, 430 - 434 (31 July 1986); doi:10.1038/322430a0

Global temperature variations between 1861 and 1984

P. D. Jones, T. M. L. Wigley & P. B. Wright*

Climatic Research Unit, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
*Present address: Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Bundesstrasse 55, 2000 Hamburg 13, FRG.

Recent homogenized near-surface temperature data over the land and oceans of both hemispheres during the past 130 years are combined to produce the first comprehensive estimates of global mean temperature. The results show little trend in the nineteenth century, marked warming to 1940, relatively steady conditions to the mid-1970s and a subsequent rapid warming. The warmest 3 years have all occurred in the 1980s.

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