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Global temperatures are dangerously close to the highest ever estimated to have occurred in the past million years, scientists reported today.
In a study that analyzed temperatures around the globe, researchers found that Earth has been warming rapidly, nearly 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit (0.2 degrees Celsius) in the last 30 years [chart].
If global temperatures go up another 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius), it would be equal to the maximum temperature of the past million years.
"This evidence implies that we are getting close to dangerous levels of human-made (anthropogenic) pollution," said study leader James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.