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The year 2002 likely will rank as having the second-warmest global surface temperature on record, scientists with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the British Meteorology Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research noted on 17 December.

Data collected from weather and climate stations, satellites, ships, buoys, and floats indicate that average global temperatures for 2002 likely will be about 12°C, slightly cooler than the record warm year of 1998, according to NOAA. The ten warmest years on record have occurred since 1987, the agency indicated.