Pop Quiz: Global Average Temperature
Answer: B) 58.1 degrees Fahrenheit
The importance of the global average temperature is that it has been steadily increasing as greenhouse gas concentrations have increased. "Over the last century, the average global temperature climbed from 13.88 degrees Celsius (56.984 F) in 1899-1901 to 14.44 degrees (57.992 F) in 1999-2001, an increase of 0.56 degrees . But four fifths of this gain came in the century's last two decades." That increase of half a degree was enough to raise sea level between 4 and 8 inches. And if that doesn't sound like a lot, in 2000, the World Bank published a map of Bangladesh showing that a 1-meter rise in sea level would inundate half of that country's riceland.
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