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To add to Avery's excellent answer, I'd like to note that the absolute surface temperature of Earth isn't actually used to measure changes in climate, and that estimates of it changing over a few decades wouldn't indicate that scientists aren't sure of the changes in the Earth's temperature. NASA has a FAQ discussing how their GISTEMP measure of temperature ...


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The problem is that the "average surface temperature of Earth" do not exist, it is not a physical measurement, in other words there is not a hole somewhere in the surface of Earth in which you can insert a thermometer ... More than that, measured T° are not homogenous, some come from old airport where the nearest town has grown over the years, for the ocean ...


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The article quotes a scientific paper as saying: Hansen and colleagues have estimated that Earth's actual average surface air temperature between 1951 and 1980 was approximately 287 K (14 degrees Celsius) (Hansen et al. 2010). The quoted paper Hansen et al. 2010 is confirming a study done back in 1999. For the sake of users who require an absolute ...


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