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A temperature increase of 1 degree may not seem like much on a sweltering summer day, but Gore warns that if the world's average temperatures continue to rise, there could be catastrophic consequences.

The 10 hottest years ever recorded in the Earth's atmospheric record have all occurred in the past 14 years, Gore says. In the summer of 2003, Europe suffered through a scorching heat wave that was responsible for the deaths of 35,000 people. That same year, temperatures shot up to 122 degrees in India...and that wasn't even the hottest summer on record. According to scientists, 2005 was the hottest year in history.

During the summer of 2006, Gore says many American cities out West set records of their own—some for all-time high temperatures and others for the number of consecutive days that reached 100 degrees or more. "It's not supposed to be 120 degrees in South Dakota," Gore says.

Temperature increases are taking place all over the world, including in the oceans. Gore warns that when the oceans get warmer, storms get stronger.
FROM: Global Warming 101 with Al Gore
Published on December 05, 2006