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As globe warms, atmosphere keeps its cool

A panel of top scientists last week doled out ammunition to both sides in the debate over global warming.

The National Research Council (NRC) committee concluded that Earth's surface has warmed dramatically over the past 2 decades, accelerating a trend observed throughout the 20th century. The panel also confirmed, however, that the lowermost atmosphere has warmed only slightly or not at all since 1979, backing up measurements made by satellites.

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